By Tobi Soniyi
Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar, on Tuesday said that he came under external pressure during the trial of former Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Tinubu.
He however said he defied the pressure and did the right thing.
“During Bola Tinibu’s case, we were under influence to convict him but we did the right thing.
“I swear by the Almighty Allah to do justice. On our part, the insinuation that we are being influenced to see to the conviction of the accused is false. During Bola Tinubu ‘s case, we were under influence to convict him but we did the right thing”, Umar stated.
Tinubu was charged with false declaration of assets and operation of foreign accounts by the Federal Government in 2012. He was however discharged and acquitted in a judgment the CCT chairman later said was given in error.
Umar, who has faced a series of allegations, mainly of bias against those standing trial before him for various charges, however swore that he would resist similar pressure if it comes in respect of those being tried at the moment.
He however described as false insinuations that he was being influenced to seek the conviction of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
At the resumed trial of Saraki on false assets declaration charges, Umar said that he would do justice without any recourse to external influence that may arise in the course of the trial.
He was reacting to the number of counsel representing Saraki in the trial. According to him, the records of the tribunal showed that there were about 100 counsel standing for the defendant.
He insisted that to ensure orderliness, all the counsel might not be allowed to cross examine witnesses. He stated that all the other lawyers could assist the leader of the defence team, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) rather than every other person in the defence team doing the job.
According to him, there has been too many counsel cross examining the witness. This, he said, made the process untidy.
“So, henceforth, only the lead counsel, Agabi can do the cross examination. For purpose of the records of the court, it will be tidy for only the lead counsel to do the cross examination,” he said.
In his response, Agabi reminded the court that all the persons in the case will account to God and they should all be worried by that fact .
But Umar maintained that there was nothing that he has done to distort the records of the court .
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