The House of Representatives on Thursday accused the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of alleged “manipulation” of justice by reopening the corruption case against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar.
The House noted that Malami and the EFCC had earlier cleared Umar of any wrongdoing in the alleged corruption act involving about N1.8billion.
However, the House said the same AGF and EFCC had made a U-turn recently by filing two corruption charges against Umar before the Federal Capital Territory High Court.
Umar presides over several high-profile corruption cases at the CCT, including the celebrated case involving the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and some top judicial officers.
In a resolution in Abuja, lawmakers condemned the actions of the AGF and the EFCC in the renewed filing of corruption charges against Umar, accusing them of plotting to arm-twist Umar so that he could deliver judgments in a “pre-determined direction” on the cases before him at the CCT.
The Minority Whip of the House, Mr. Yakubu Barde, who moved a motion on the matter, recalled that the same AGF and EFCC had “previously cleared the said Umar of the very same allegations that form the basis of the two-counts (against him).”
He argued that it was not possible for the same judge who was facing corruption trial to preside over other corruption cases, including Saraki’s, and be expected to be fair to all parties.
The motion reads partly, “The House is further concerned that the EFCC had previously issued a statement absolving Justice Umar of any wrongdoing and is now being charged and asked to try the Senate President with the tendency to give an impression that a game is being arranged to meet certain pre-determined result, portraying our legal system as capable of being manipulated, should be of great concern to everyone.”