DAILY TIMES-——The registered trustees of the Mission for Peace and Development Initiative (MPDI) has approached a Federal High Court, in Abuja, with a suit seeking an order to remove Justice Danlami Umar the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal from office.
The non-governmental organisation, in an originating summons filed on its behalf by Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), wants the court to order Justice Umar to hands off the trial of any Nigerian, having confessed to corruption and admitted meeting with an accused person standing trial before him, in the absence of the prosecution and court officials.
Joined as defendants along with Justice Umar in the suit filed on Friday are, the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
The plaintiff wants the court to order the tribunal to halt further sittings or proceedings against accused persons brought before it, or currently standing trial before it, until it was reconstituted to exclude its present Chairman.
The organisation is also praying the court for an order directing the EFCC to start prosecuting Justice Umar, having investigated him and found him culpable of the offences of conspiracy, bribery, abuse of office and money laundering, which the Commission had actually prepared a charge, but failed, refused to file same till date for inexplicable reasons.
The plaintiff also wants an order that the AGF should cease from further regarding or according recognition to Justice Umar as the rightful Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
A nine-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons deposed to by one Ogah Columba, a human rights activists and anti-corruption campaigner, averred that in spite of the corruption cases hanging on the neck of Justice Umar, he could still sit, morally and legally to try any Nigerian citizen for any case of corruption.
“That in consonance with the anti-corruption stance of the present government, we decided to dig into the ugly, murky cases of corruption against the 1st Respondent (Justice Umar) and we are shocked at a grand cover up by powers-that-be who refused to prosecute him for receiving, N1.8 million bribe out of N10 million he demanded from an accused he was trying in his Tribunal, notwithstanding the clear instructions of the then AGF, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) that he should be prosecuted”, the affidavit stated.
It further averred that EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, on June 24, 2014, wrote to the AGF, where he concluded that there was sufficient evidence, even if circumstantial, that Umar collected money from an accused person, Rasheed A. Taiwo, through his Personal Assistant, Mr Abdullahi, and that there was an attempt to cover up judicial corruption.
A date is yet to be fixed for the hearing of the matter.