Tuesday, May 17, 2016 10:42 pm
The Chairman of Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr Danladi Umar, on Tuesday, decried insinuations that he was being influenced to convict the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
Umar, who stated this in Abuja on Tuesday, swore to Allah to do justice in Saraki’s trial.
“During Bola Tinubu’s case, we were under influence but we did the right thing.
“I swear by the Almighty Allah to do justice. On our part, the insinuation that we are being influenced to see the conviction of the accused is false.’’
On the number of lawyers in Saraki’s defence team, Umar said, the records of the tribunal showed that “there are about 100 counsel standing for the defendant.’’
Umar insisted that although the defence had right to have as many lawyers as they want but the tribunal had the power to regulate the conduct of counsel.
He said there must be orderliness; all the counsel may not be allowed to cross examine the witness.
He stated that all the other lawyers can assist the leader of the defense team, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), rather than every other person in the defence team doing the job.
He observed that there were many counsel cross examining a witness. This, he said, made the process untidy.
“Henceforth, only the lead counsel, Agabi can do the cross examination. For purpose of the records of the court, it will be tidy for only the lead counsel to do the cross examination.
Lawyer to EFCC, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), had complained about the slow pace at which the defence team was handling the cross examination.
“This is the ninth day. The defence is still cross examining only one witness’’, Jacobs had complained’’
Agabi said: “Are you surprised that those who come before you are afraid? People come here and they are ruled by fear of prejudice. Prejudice ought not to have a place in this court but we are afraid.’’
The tribunal adjourned sitting till May 18 for continuation of hearing.