Senate threatens Code of Conduct Boss, Umar with arrest warrant over public assault
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, on Tuesday, threatened to issue warrant of arrest on chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar, following his consistent refusal to honour the invitation of the panel for investigation on alleged assault meted out to one Clement Sagwak in March this year.
This was even as Umar has ambushed the Senate commitee, chaired by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central)
with originating summons from the court.
Irked by the development, the commitee described the originating summons as fruitless ambushing by giving the embattled CCT chairman, July 27 to appear before it unfailingly or risk issuance of warrant of arrest against him.
The committee had on the strength of petition forwarded to it by Clement Sagwak’s lawyer, Barrister Timzing Venyir Ramnal summoned Danladi Umar to appear before it which he did once in April and begged for time to study the petition.
Since then, the CCT chairman has refused to appear before the commitee on grounds of alleged indisposition.
Disturbed by Danladi Umar’s refusal to appear before it, the commitee penultimate week, ordered for his unfailing appearance on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
But at the session, an attorney to Danladi Umar, Barrister Toluwa Odekhe, told the commitee that the matter is already in court and has two originating summons to that effect.
“Distinguished chairman of this committee and other members, I respectfully on behalf of my client, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) inform you that the matter scheduled for discuss here, is already in court and any move to continue any form of proceedings on it is subjudice,” he said.
Angered by his submission, the chairman of the committee, Senator Ayo Akinyelure said this is a clear ambush which will not work because as provided for in the 1999 Constitution, no arm of government can stop another arm from doing its constitutionally mandated work.
“From repeated excuses of indisposition given within the last two months, you are now coming up with subjudice to frustrate the commitee from forging ahead with investigation on assault your client visited on another fellow Nigerian.
“This committee will not be cowed by the purported originating summons because none of the parties went to court before it started its investigation on petition bordering on assaults.
“Therefore, Danladi Umar, wherever you are on your sick bed, you must appear before this Commitee in two weeks time unfailingly to avoid invocation of section 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution which borders on warrant of arrest,” he said.
Speaking in the same tone, a member of the committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), accused the attorney of Danladi Umar of acting in bad faith.
“Your client the CCT chairman himself appeared before this committee at the first summon and begged for time to study the petition filed against him by the innocent Nigerian he alleged assaulted here in Abuja in March.
“Thereafter, it has been excuses upon excuses on alleged indisposition for non appearance of your client before this Commitee within the last two months , only for you to come up with purported originating summons from the court today.
“This is unacceptable and clear case of ambushing the committee from carrying out its legitimate assignment which had been on before the hurried resort to the court of law.
“Justice must not be denied the petitioner just because is an ordinary Nigerian since the laws of the land are for everybody and not just for those in high places.
“Tell your client to as ruled by this commitee chairman to appear before the commitee unfailingly in two weeks time,” he said.
Earlier before the commitee ruling, the counsel of the petitioner, Timzing Ramnal urged the commitee to issue warrant of arrest on Danladi Umar without any further delay.
He complained that repeated postponement of the session, has been having toll on him and his clients financially.
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