Assets Declaration: Saraki Insists He Can’t Get Fair Trial Under Umar

By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Mr Paul Erokoro, SAN, who appeared for the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki ,at his trial for alleged ‎false declaration of assets at the Code of Conduct Tribunal has once again told the tribunal’s Chairman, Danladi Umar, to step down to pave the way for government to constitute a full panel for the tribunal.
‎He stated that his client could not get justice as long as Umar remained the tribunal chairman.
While moving his application calling on Umar to disqualify himself from Sararki’s trial,‎ Erokoro said that if Umar disqualified himself, government could then appoint more members for the tribunal to be fully constituted.
But the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, opposed the application, saying that it was a plot to delay the trial.
While arguing the application to get Umar to disqualify himself, Erokoro said the tribunal chairman has become biased based on prejudicial comments he made during the trial.
The CCT chairman had on June 7 threatened Saraki that the delay tactics being employed by his lawyers would not reduce the consequences he would face at the end of the trial.
In his submission, Erokoro claimed that the comment by the chairman was prejudicial to Saraki whom, he said, could no longer get a fair trial from the tribunal as envisaged by the provision of section 36 of the 1999 constitution.
He said that  neither the chairman who was personally served with the motion on notice informing him of the prejudicial statement made in the open court on June 7 nor the prosecution had denied the statement.
Erokoro further submitted that by implication, the CCT chairman and the prosecution had  admitted making the statement and as such, the chairman should disqualify himself in the interest of justice and fair trial.
He further submitted that the Independence and the impartiality of the chairman as envisaged in section 36 of the constitution could no longer be guaranteed and that a good reason for the CCT chairman to disqualify himself from the trial had already been established.
The lawyer said that Umar would not  be able to balance the scale of justice.