Justice Danladi Umar, the presiding judge at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Thursday, April 21, lost his temper at the court. This happened after one of the lawyers on the Bukola Saraki’s trial, Raphael Oluyede, announced the motion he filed against the judge through the Senate president.
The application filed on Wednesday, April 20, seeks for Umar to withdraw from the case based on his alleged cases with the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). When Oloyede was about to commence the body of the motion, Rotimi Jacobs, the counsel to the federal government said the business of the day is to cross examine the witness, Michael Wetkas, therefore the motion should not be presented. “He was never in this case and the time he filed this motion he had never appeared on this case,” he said.
He quoted section 349 of the constitution which states that a legal practitioner under a matter is bound to engage in any case unless he is allowed to by the lead counsel. Jacobs said because he is not a counsel on the matter, he will not accept the motion. He said it’s not ripe for hearing but an affidavit needs to be filed for it. But Umar while addressing the issue dismissed the motion.
“This motion being filed by a mere busy body legal practitioner cannot be accepted. He was the lawyer who sued the judge that he has not been cleared by the EFCC. “You are supposed to be leading by example. How can you allow such rubbish thing to happen. “You are granting him an opportunity to address the tribunal not as a counsel to the defendant. “That motion as far as the court is concerned, that file is thrown away. It is so shameful and unfortunate,” he said. Adebayo Adelodun, one of the counsels who stood up in defense of Oloyede said that it was the right of the lawyer to file a motion no matter how unserious it seems and it is in his power to dismiss it.
In anger, Oloyede stood up to defend himself saying, “I am a counsel in this matter. There are too many clouded things with you and the EFCC that’s why you are doing this.” Thereafter, Umar asked that the lawyer be arrested, but was settled and agreed to commence with the trial. Saraki has been charged to court since September 22, 2015, over 13 counts of corruption bordered on corruption.
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