Saraki’s Defence Counsel Dares CCT Chairman to Arrest Him


Alex Enumah in Abuja

A mild drama played out on Thursday at the ongoing trial of senate president Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal following an order by the Tribunal Chairman, Mr Danladi Umar, that one Rapheal Oluyede, one of the counsel in Saraki’s team, be arrested by the police for contempt of the court.

Oluyede had refused to sit down when Umar asked him to and even confronted the chairman about his powers to get him arrested.

“Sit down, I say sit down, sit down”, Umar had shouted but Oluyede refused to yield to the order. Umar got angrier; “I will commit you for contempt for doing my job”.

An unyielding Oluyede responded, “No, you cannot.”

“Ok where are the police? Arrest him, and take him out”. But for the timely intervention of the prosecutor, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, Oluyede would have been taken away.

Saraki is standing trial at the tribunal on a 13- count charge of false asset declaration.

Oluyede had last Wednesday filed an application seeking the disqualification of the chairman of the tribunal from further presiding over the trial on grounds of alleged bias.

At the resumed trial on Thursday, Oluyede had sought to move his application.

Trouble started immediately a representative of the lead counsel, Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) announced his appearance and that of his team for the defence.

Oluyede stood up to call the attention of the court to a motion filed by the defendant asking the tribunal chairman to disqualify himself from the trial.

But Jacobs interrupted him and told the court that the motion in question was handed over to him on Wednesday, adding that on receipt of the notice he quickly called the lead counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN,‎ if he was aware of such application.

“I called the lead counsel to find out if he was aware of the motion but he said that he was not aware of such motion and he did not ask anybody to file any motion”.