Call For Umar’s Suspension, Misguided- CCT
KINGSLEY BENNETH, ABUJA
ABUJA: The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has described calls for the immediate suspension from office of the CCT Chairman, Justice Danladi Umar, over alleged incompetence, as misguiding.
A statement by Atekojo Usman, said that the call which was made by a group, Progressive Foundational Movement (PFM), “would have been considered idle mind’s work and be ignored, but records would have to be put in proper perspective to guard against misguiding the the public.”
The call purportedly made Thursday and which reportedly trended on some social media platforms had called for Justice Umar’s immediate and urgent suspension and probe.
But Samson while berating the group said, “The Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT is a special court with coordinate jurisdiction with the Federal and State High Courts in Nigeria, saddled with the responsibility of adjudicating assets declaration related cases of public servants which emanated from the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB.
“This means, the CCT under the Chairmanship of Justice Danladi Umar does not generate administrative cases to be adjudicated, except those cases passed to it by the Code of Conduct Bureau, an agency saddled with the mandate to document, verify and assess assets of public servants in Nigeria.
“One is therefore, appalled at how a group which is led by an acclaimed lawyer who should know is displaying a crass ignorance of the workings of the CCT and CCB.
“Of particular interest, is the fact that every public servant is obliged to declare asset at the beginning of his or her office and also declare asset after the tenure of office.
“This, means that public servants by the end of President Muhammadu Buhari administration on May 29, 2023 were expected to declare their assets which is statutorily the responsibility of the CCB.
“It is an administrative process which the CCB would have to carry out through its internal organ before forwarding to the CCT depending on the report of CCB’s Asset and Verification Committee report. One wonders, if the CCT that has adjudicatory powers should witch hunt anyone as one, Barr. Aganaba Johnson would want the public to believe.
“Obviously, CCT is a Court and does not get involved in politics, hence, it should be excused from political mudslinging of any sort and the Court will not avail itself for politicians to use as means of scoring their political vendetta.
“In the words of Barr. Johnson, he said: “The two agencies have failed woefully in the fight against corruption in the past four years, especially the Code of Conduct Bureau, where the Chairman has not sent one person to be prosecuted in the Code of Conduct Tribunal in the last four years.”
“Barr Johnson has contradicted himself when he said, the CBB has not sent a person in the last four years, supposedly one who has violated the asset declaration law to be tried by the CCT. If his words were anything to go by, should Danladi Umar-led CCT be going to the market square in search of who to prosecute?
“Surprisingly, the CCT Chairman has championed a far reaching reform on the Act that established the Court which was signed into law at the twilight of the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, that will yield results in no distant time.
“The Justice Danladi Umar-led CCT is an open Court where lawyers, private citizens, individuals are free to observe proceedings and it remains to be comprehended if the group leader has never bothered to visit the CCT during trial of public officers to keep himself abreast of the many cases that have been tried so far.
“This would have helped him in not dissipating energy for nothingness, particularly as a lawyer, he should be interested in the CCT cases.
“It is advised that group leaders, individuals or interested individuals should explore the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information on activities of government agencies before rushing to the media. This will help them to speak from the point of authorities as records will always be made available following the due processes.
The CCT has tried failed asset declaration cases of public officers across board with judgements delivered within the ambit of the law which have made news headlines, hence, it is easier to deduce those sponsoring Mr Johnson to issue spurious and misguided statement against Justice Danladi Umar.”