The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr Danladi Umar, made a stunning revelation on Tuesday, saying the Tribunal was under influence to convict a former Lagos State Governor and leader of the All Progressive Congress, Senator Bola Tinubu, when he appeared before it some six years ago.
In comments made to emphasise the Tribunal’s commitment to ensuring justice in the trial of the Nigerian Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Mr Umar tried to allay the fears of prejudice raised by counsel to the accused.
“During Bola Tinubu’s case we were under influence to convict him but we did the right thing,” he told the Tribunal.
Mr Umar did not say who influenced the Tribunal at that time.
Senator Tinubu was charged before the CCT and discharged in 2011 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Raising an issue that had earlier been brought before the Tribunal, Mr Agabi said that he feared prejudice.
“I want to assure you that there is nothing that we have done here to distort the records of the court.
“Are you surprised that those who come before you are afraid?
“People come here and they are ruled by fear of prejudice. Prejudice ought not to have a place at this court but we are afraid,” he stressed.
Mr Agabi, however, pointed out that he had not accused the Tribunal of prejudice.
The Chairman of the Tribunal allaying the defence counsel’s fears, further pledged to be fair in the hearing and to ensure justice.
“I swear by the Almighty Allah to do justice.
“On our part, the insinuations that we are being influenced to see the conviction of the accused is false,” he further stated.
Responding to the Tribunal Chairman’s statement, Mr Agabi said he agreed that all the persons in the case would account to God and stressed that “they should all be worried by that fact”.
Before proceedings began, Mr Umar insisted that only the lead counsel of the defendant would cross-examine the witness, saying it would help ensure a tidy process.