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Opinion: Why Buhari Must Sack Code Of Conduct Tribunal Judge Now | DOCUMENTS

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by Harold Adebola Smith

Ever since the news of the Code of Conduct Tribunal Danladi Umar broke, as being culpable in corruption and bribery scandal involving a former Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Rasheed Taiwo, not much has been heard of the trial afterwards, despite the overwhelming evidences alleging that Umar indeed demanded N10million bribe to quash criminal case.

ALSO READ: Code Of Conduct Tribunal Judge Charged For Alleged N10 Million Corruption

Evidences ranging from phone call logs, banks statements, account details and in fact, a letter instituting criminal charges against him by the then Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the federation, Bello Adoke have since surfaced.

RELATED: REVEALED: How Code Of Conduct Tribunal Judge Received N10 Million Bribe (DOCUMENT)

In a letter dated September 1, 2014 and titled “10 million bribery allegation against the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal”, the charges preferred against Danladi included Corrupt practices, official impropriety, bribery and gross abuse of office.

“The allegation (N10 million) has been widely reported in the media, besides the embarrassing comments from legal practitioners who have been calling to express their disappointment over the shocking development, although investigation are yet to be concluded’’.

“Members (the other two judges) and the entire staff of the Tribunal are embarrassed and saddened by the allegation because a Tribunal set up to check corruption should not be accused of being corrupt, the letter reads in part.”

 Justice Danladi Umar
Justice Danladi Umar

Based on the body of the evidences upon which premise the investigations were based, the former Attorney General and the EFCC revealed that Danladi Umar, did not only meet the accused he also accepted the bribe through his PA and allegedly kept pestering Taiwo for the balance of the N10million that he had requested. Helpless to meet up with the balance, Mr. Taiwo petitioned the EFCC in the case against Danladi. The EFCC then launched a case against Danladi and found out that:

Danladi texted Taiwo his account number using his phone: 0807 445 5022;

Danladi sent the details of his PA, Ali Gambo Abdullahi to Taiwo’s number: 0803 336 7814;

Taiwo paid N1.8 million into Danladi’s account and Danladi’s PA withdrew the money on the same day 12/12/12.

It was upon these revelations that the former AGF wrote to then President Goodluck Jonathan on the 7th of May, 2014: “In light of the foregoing therefore, Your Excellency may wish to initiate the necessary steps for the removal of the Chairman.”

The EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, also wrote back to the AGF stating that there was in fact strong evidence to suggest an attempt by Danladi to “cover up” the bribery scandal. Although, not much was heard afterwards from the EFCC until Lamorde was booted out of office.

It is believed that the Chairman of the EFCC may have dropped the charges against Danladi, because the Senate started investigating him (Lamorde) on the 26th of August, 2015.

However, following the sack of the former Chairman of the EFCC, Lamorde which has been linked to his handling of the corruption case against the Chairman of the CCT, it is clear that the present government is ready to wield the hammers on any corrupt official, no matter how highly placed.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal, as it literally implies, is supposed to be the bastion of equity and accountability, and without any scandalous smear whatsoever. Therefore, President Muhammadu Buhari should sack Danladi Umar now and preserve the sanctity of the Code of Conduct Tribunal from corrupt elements.

Harold Adebola Smith writes from Abuja and can be reached via email and on Twitter.

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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