The trial of the embattled Senate President, Bukola Saraki at
the Justice Umar Danladi-led Code of Conduct Tribunal
(CCT) over false assets declaration has taken a new twist
with reports that a former governor of Lagos State, Chief
Bola Tinubu recently paid an online news medium, Sahara
Reporters the sum of $160,000 to malign and blackmail the
person of the Judge and other parties to the lawsuit.
The renewed blackmail efforts is reportedly hinged on legal
opinions that the Senate President may be discharged and
acquitted by the CCT on all charges filed against him by the
A team of legal experts have told Ex-Governor Tinubu that the tribunal may acquit the embattled Senate President on the same ground with which the Ex-Governor was discharged and acquitted in 2011, a source confirmed to our correspondent. Tinubu is widely believed to be an interested party to the ongoing trial of the Senate President. Many Nigerians, especially the supporters of the Senate President believed Ex-Governor Tinubu set the machinery of the law against the Senate President due to political disagreements. It will be recalled that Tinubu was charged to court on allegation that he violated section 7 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, Cap C15 LFN, 2004, as amended, by operating 10 foreign accounts whilst he was in office between 1999 and 2007.
The substance of the trial was never looked into or opened at the tribunal. The tribunal ruled on the premise that the charge against Tinubu was legally defective. The panel led by Justice Umar Danladi maintained that the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, which recommended the ex- governor for trial, ought to have in-line with the Act that established the CCT, granted the accused person the necessary facilities that would enable him to properly defend himself over the allegations, saying the manner in which the 3-count amended charge was brought before the court amounted to “trial by ambush.” The motion filed at the CCT by the new lead counsel to the Senate President and former Attorney General of Nigeria, Kanu Agabi is premised on the same ground with which the Justice Umar Danladi-led tribunal dismissed the case against Ex-Governor Tinubu.
Realising that the trial of the embattled Senate President is legally defective, Ex-Governor Tinubu has reportedly reached out to the Publisher of a New York-based Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore to put the Senate President on media trial. He was reportedly paid the sum of $160,000. According to the deal, Mr. Yele Sowore is expected to use his platform to sway public opinions against the Senate President. He was also handed an order to malign Justice Umar Danladi by suggesting under-hand dealings between the judge and the lead defence counsel, Kanu Agabi. It will be recalled that Sahara Reporters has published several stories in recent times on past purported relationship between Justice Umar Danladi and the lead defence counsel, Kanu Agabi SAN. The medium has also made spirited efforts to drag past working relationship between the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs and defence counsel, Kanu Agabi into the ongoing trial. Few days ago, the platform reported that the legal team of Mr. Saraki colluded with officials of the Ministry of Justice to frustrate the ongoing trial at the CCT. The allegations have been denied as false. Again, Sahara Reporter, reported that the Makama of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Oniye has been suspended due to his comments on the ongoing trail of the Senate President. The report has turned out to be false.
The Kwara State Governor, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari and the Makama himself had denied the report as false and malicious. Not too long ago, the media aide of the Senate President, Yusuph Olaniyonu raised an alarm, claiming Sahara Reporters is out to malign and bring to disrepute the person of his principal. Olaniyonu said, “As it is constant with the online newspaper in its calculated attempt to always malign and bring to disrepute, on all issues and at all times, the Senate President, Dr. Abubukar Bukola Saraki”.
He concluded that SaharaReporters represents, “the greatest dreg of the professional genre it pretends to represent. Given the $160,000 worth deal, Sahara Reporters is expected to step up blackmail efforts against Justice Umar Danladi, the defence counsel, Kanu Agabi, the embattled Senate President and other parties to the ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Source : Gist Arena