BY OBUTE JAMES
The trial of embattled Nigerian Senate President continued in its dramatic form today Wednesday April 27 as Danladi Umar, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) ordered security operatives attached to Senate President Bukola Saraki to leave the courtroom.
Umar said that his order was for the safety of all those that were present at the tribunal.
“We have observed that some armed security agents are at the tribunal. We want such security men to stay outside,” he said.
“They should stay outside of the court hall not inside. It is for the protection of us here.”
Umar also warned against the recording of the proceedings of the tribunal.
He said that he was ready to make the trial open to all Nigerians if the parties to the case filed an application for it to broadcast.
Similarly, Saraki, has filed another application to disqualify Danladi Umar, the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, from continuing to preside over his trial.
Ajibola Oluyede, a counsel to Mr. Saraki, who is being tried for alleged false and anticipatory assets declaration, filed the application shortly after the trial resumed on Wednesday morning.
Mr. Oluyede said the tribunal chairman still had a serious corruption case against him with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Mr. Oluyede premised his application on Section 36(1) of the Constitution which addresses the issue of biases and the rules of natural justice.
He had unsuccessfully moved a similar application last week, which resulted in a heated exchange between him and Mr. Umar.
After reading his motion, Mr. Oluyede called the attention of the court to a letter written to the Attorney-General by the EFCC chairman in February 2015, which was part of his exhibits against Mr. Umar.
Justice Umar had initially declined to entertain the motion, but prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, urged him to admit the application so that it can be argued.
The EFCC has repeatedly said that it has no evidence to prosecute Mr. Umar over the matter.