THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday said it was not aware of any moves to open fresh probe against the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr Danladi Umar, over alleged corrupt practices based on petitions written by some individuals and groups against him.
There were reports on Friday that the anti-graft agency was set to probe Umar, once again, after it had in 2015 and 2016 given him a clean bill of health over his involvement in an alleged N10 million bribe, which he was accused of receiving from a former Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC), Rasheed Taiwo Owolabi, who was standing trial on false asset declaration at the CCT.
The money was said to have been paid into the Zenith Bank account of the Personal Assistant (PA) to Umar, one Ali Gambo Abdullahi, who was alleged to have withdrawn the amount same day it was paid for his boss sometime in December 2012.
The latest move to probe the conduct tribunal boss, according to analysts, might not be unconnected with the CCT’s Wednesday’s discharge and acquittal of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, who was dragged before the tribunal for alleged false asset declaration.
The tribunal had discharged and acquitted Saraki of all charges preferred against him by EFCC, though the commission had, on Thursday, through its official Twitter handle, @officialEFCC, denied prosecuting the Senate President before the CCT, following his no-case submission before the tribunal.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, told our reporter when contacted on Umar’s fresh probe that he was not aware of any fresh moves to probe Umar by the commission.”
A source in the commission, who pleaded not to be named as he was not authorized to speak on its behalf, however, told Saturday Tribune that there had been some investigations of Umar but any actions on the outcome of the investigations were put on hold due to Saraki’s trial before the CCT.
It was gathered that some groups, including anti-corruption groups, had petitioned EFCC, alleging corrupt practices by Umar, which reports say the commission is poised to probe as it will soon invite him to come and answer some questions.
The commission had in 2015 through a letter, signed by its immediate past chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, told the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, that though there were indications that the CCT Chairman might have demanded and collected money from the retired DCG through his PA, “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.”
EFCC, however, has since arraigned the PA before Justice Chizoba Oji of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court 21, sitting at Apo, Abuja, for his involvement in the alleged bribery.
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