As the trial of the senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki, continues at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Justice Danladi Umar has confessed to being under pressure while ruling on the case of Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2011.
Umar disclosed this at the beginning of court proceedings on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 where he urged the defense team counsels to desist from examining the witness Micheal Wetkas any further – saying that the process was taking too long.
“We must be fair to ourselves, because we will be accountable to Allah,” Umar said. “I want to say that during the case of Bola Tinubu, we were under serious influence so we did what we had to do.
“We must be fair to ourselves so we don’t unduly delay this case. The bench is begging the bar, allowing everyone conduct cross examination will make our records untidy, please let’s make progress,” Umar added.
Wetkas, since the cross-examination commenced, has failed to prove the validity of most of his testimonies. Severally, he has disappointed Rotimi William, the government’s lead counsel by responding to questions by saying: “It was not part of my investigation,” “I was not part of the investigation team,” “I am not in a position to answer that” and “I’m not a forensic expert.”
In a case filed by the Federal Republic of Nigeria, against Tinubu with charge No. CCT/ABJ/1/11/ in 2011 for alleged violation in his asset declarations while he was Governor, the Federal Government, having failed to comply with mandatory procedures as provided in Section 3D of the CCT and CCB Act, dismissed the charges against Tinubu through the CCT.
Having made the same clear cut procedural error in the charges against Saraki, on the 5th of April 2016, Umar surprisingly ruled in contradiction to the precedent that he himself set in 2011.