Five days to Senate President Bukola Saraki appearing at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the Chairman of the Tribunal has had charges of corruption filed against him in Abuja.
About 14 months after it first emerged that he allegedly demanded and received a bribe for a case before him, the Chairman of the CCT, Mr. Danladi Umar, will now formally face trial over the allegations.
The charges are coming, curiously, after Senate President Bukola Saraki was sent back to him last December for re-trial by an appeal court. Saraki is re-appearing next Tuesday, 6th of February, to answer questions on three counts out of 18 he was set free from by the CCT.
The Federal Government had appealed Umar’s judgement setting Saraki free on the 18 counts at the CCT.
Whereas count 4 and 5 of the charge alleged that the Senate President made false declaration of his assets at the end of his tenure as Executive Governor of Kwara State in 2011 and on assumption of office as a Senator in 2011, when he declared that he acquired properties at No. 17A and No. 17B McDonald, Ikoyi Lagos on September 6, 2006, from the proceeds of sale of rice and sugar.
In count-6, FG alleged that the defendant made false declaration of his assets at the end of his tenure as Governor of Kwara state, when he failed to declare his outstanding loan liabilities of N315, 054, 355.92 out of the loan of N380, 000, 000 he obtained from Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
The Justice Akomolafe-Wilson-led Court of Appeal panel agreed with government that the CCT ought to have called Saraki to defend his claim that he repaid the loan he took from GTB to acquire the two properties through proceeds from his sale of Rice and Sugar.
Recall that it was Saraki’s lawyer who in 2016 first made the allegations, giving the impression then that Umar had questions to answer at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the reason he was bent on trying Saraki and having him convicted for false declaration of assets.
But this Friday, the EFCC filed two charges against the CCT Chairman at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
EFCC is accusing Umar of asking for and receiving bribes from one Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo, in 2012 to save his neck. Umar was allegedly paid through one of his aides, Alhaji Gambo Abdullahi.
Taiwo, a retired Customs officer, allegedly sent a petition to the EFCC in 2014, accusing Umar of the financial malfeasance.