Why we cleared CCT boss, Umar, of wrongdoing, by AGF
ATTORNEY-GENERAL of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, yesterday justified why his office cleared the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, of wrongdoings.
In a testimony before the Mr Nkem Abonta-led House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, Malami argued that it was discovered that there was insufficient evidence in the allegations of the N44.5 million fraud levelled by a non-governmental organisation, Anti-Corruption Network to warrant the prosecution of the CCT chief.
The AGF who acknowledged receipt of the petition, explained that it was in order to presume the CCT chief innocent until he is found guilty based on the provisions of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Nevertheless, the AGF disclosed that his office had to refer the matter to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to further investigate the CCT chief and submit its findings.
He further stated that the anti-graft agency corroborated his position in it’s report which indicated that the allegations by the Anti-Corruption were based on mere suspicions.
Continuing, he noted: “The facts as they are, show that the petition against Justice Umar was based on mere suspicions, which are not sufficient to prosecute him.
It, therefore, became difficult for prosecution because of lack of material facts, looking at the facts provided by the EFCC. “
When the CCT chairman was asked on whether the allegations leveled against him were true, he restated his innocence noting: “We deny every single item in the petition as submitted by the petitioner.”
But the Executive Secretary of the network, Mr. Ajulo Ajulo, insisted that Umar indeed committed the alleged acts urging the lawmakers to thoroughly investigate the allegations by calling for the original copies of certain vital documents from the CCT.
The petitioner listed the capital vote book; advance payment book; and other vouchers from 2011 to date as some of the documents that must be thoroughly scrutinised by the lawmakers.
Asked whether the network was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, Ajulo replied in the affirmative as he was directed to forward the certificate of registration to the committee.
The lawmakers who observed that there were several administrative errors on the documents submitted by the CCT in a bid to clear Umar also directed the AGF to provide further documents to prove that the EFCC conducted a though investigation into the allegations.
Among the allegations in the network’s petition to the House was that Umar paid N1m in July 2011 from the coffers of the CCT to sponsor his own wedding.
Umar was also alleged to have spent N15.2m to purchase a Toyota Prado Jeep “without following due process” among other allegations.