Thursday, April 21, 2016

EFCC clears Code of Conduct Tribunal chairman,Justice Danladi Umar of corruption

There is no evidence to try  Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Chairman Justice Danladi Umar for alleged corruption, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said yesterday.

The commission said there were no facts yet to prosecute Justice Umar, who was accused by a former Customs officer, Mr. Rasheed Taiwo , a retired Deputy Comptroller General, that he collected a N10 million bribe.

The EFCC said it stood by a letter, EFCC/EC/ SGF /03/56 of March 5, 2015 which its former chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, wrote to ex-Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Anyim Pius Anyim that there were no sufficient facts  to prosecute the CCT chairman.

The letter said: “However, the facts as they are now against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will therefore not be sufficient to successfully prosecute him for the offence.

“Above is submitted for the information of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, please.”

A top official of the EFCC, who spoke with The NATION, said: “We stand by our letter that we cannot prosecute the CCT chairman because there are no evidence to do so.

“We have reviewed the allegations against Umar and we have amplified  the clearance given to Justice Umar.

“This position will not change until there is a contrary proof against the judge.”

The EFCC letter to Anyim by its ex-chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, said: “We refer to your letter ref. No. SGF.19./S.24/11/451 dated 23rd February 2015 on the above mentioned case reported by one Mr. Rasheed Taiwo (DCG rtd) of 6AB Milverton Road, Lagos against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar and his Personal Assistant, one Gambo Abdullahi.

“The complainant, who is facing charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, alleged that Justice Umar made direct demand for the sum of N10 million to quash the charges sometime in 2012. “He disclosed that he was compelled to pay the sum of N1.8 million after persistent inundation with phone calls from Justice Umar, who received the bribe through the Zenith Bank account of one Ali Gambo Abdullahi, his personal Assistant, in December, 2012.

“Investigation was extended to one Hon. Justice G.A Oguntade (rtd), who confirmed that the complainant informed him in 2012 of the issues he had at the Tribunal and the demand being made by Justice Umar. He disclosed that Justice Umar denied the allegation when he called him.

“There are indications that the Tribunal Chairman might have demanded and collected money from the complainant through his said Personal Assistant.

“However, efforts made to recover the telephone handset used by Justice Umar proved abortive, as he claimed that he had lost the telephone in 2012. This has made it impossible to subject it to independent scientific analysis with a view to corroborating the allegation.

“In the same vein, the complainant could also not make available his telephone set for analysis on the grounds that he had lost it. Justice Umar also admitted that he met privately with the complainant in his chamber at the Tribunal. This is a most unethical and highly suspicious conduct on his part.

 ”There is a prima facie evidence to however prosecute  the Personal  Assistant, Abdullahi, who could offer no coherent excuse for receiving N1.8million into his salary account from Taiwo, who is  an accused person standing trial at the tribunal.

“The full money has been recovered from him in May 2014 and aptly registered as exhibit. The fact that he made two contradictory statements on the reason he was paid the money is clearly an attempt to cover up on the reason the money was paid to him. He has accordingly been charged to court in charge no. CR/137/2015 pending at the High Court of FCT, Abuja.

“However the facts as they are now against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will therefore not be sufficient to successfully prosecute him for the offence.

“Above is submitted for the information of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, please.”

The CCT last night confirmed the receipt of a letter from the EFCC clearing its chairman of the bribery allegation.

A statement by its Head, Press & Public Relations, Ibraheem Al-hassan, said: “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has today conveyed a letter to the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Hon Danladi Yakubu Umar, exonerating him on the alleged N10million bribe by one AbdulRashid Owolabi, in his petition to the Commission.

The letter was addressed to the Secretary to Government of the Federation, captioned “RE: Investigation Report RE: N10million  Bribery Allegation against the Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal, Abuja” with reference NO: EFCC/P/NHRU/688/V.30/99, dated 20th April, 2016.

“The letter, which was signed by Emmanuel Adegboyega Aremo, Secretary to the Commission, reads:, ‘‘Kindly recall our correspondence of 5th March, 2015, (reference EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56) with the above subject, please.

‘‘We would like to reiterate the Commission’s position in regard to this matter as earlier communicated to you and stated that the allegations leveled against Justice Umar were mere suspicious and consequently insufficient to successfully prosecute the offence.”

“Today’s clearance letter was second to the previous one sent on the 5th March,2015 during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan through the office of the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Pius Anyim.

Source: The Nation

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