- CCT chairman has said the activities of the Tribunal can only be controlled by the presidency
- Umar says unlike other judicial officials, he and his team at CCT are not answerable to bodies that regulate activities of the Nigerian judiciary
- The CCT chairman also presented a signed letter in which a former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) said the officials of the Tribunal were not judges
The chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Danladi Umar, has said he is answerable to only the presidency and not any judicial institution, The Cable reports.
Umar was reported to have said this in his reply to a petition against him by an NGO Incorporated Trustees of the Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative (ITCJPI).
According to Umar, neither he nor members of the CCT are not judicial officers and as such cannot be disciplined by the National Judicial Council (NJC) or the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).
ITCJPI had asked the FJSC to take legal actions against the CCT chairman for ignoring a court order to issue grant motion for suspension of Walter Onnoghen, former chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
But in his reply in a letter dated February 6, 2019 to the acting chairman of the FJSC, Umar said he had done no wrong as members of the CCT only take official oaths and not judicial oaths during inaugurations.
His response read: “With regard to the prayer of the petitioner for an appropriate sanction against the chairman, it is important to note that the chairman and members of the tribunal, not being judicial officers, are not constitutionally subject to any disciplinary proceedings by either the National Judicial Council or the Federal Judicial Service Commission but the Presidency.
“The petitioner alleged that judicial oaths were breached and that the National Judicial Council should consider appropriate sanctions. It is to be noted that the chairman and members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal are not judicial officers.
“This is predicated on the fact that the chairman and members of the tribunal, during swearing-in, only subscribe to official oaths and not judicial oaths. Therefore, not being a judicial officer, I did not subscribe to judicial oaths as alleged.”
Umar was said to have backed up his claims with an attached letter dated May 18, 2015 in which former CJN and ex-chairman of the NJC Mahmud Mohammed, said that members of the CCT should not be referred to as justices because they are not judges.
This development comes just days after Legit.ng reported that the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen and the acting CJN Tanko Mohammed reportedly responded to the queries served them by the NJC.
The NJC had at its meeting on Tuesday, January 29 directed Justice Onnoghen to respond to a petition by Zikhrillahi Ibrahim of Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civil Education, while Justice Mohammed was directed to respond to two petitions by the Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative, and Olisa Agbakoba (SAN).
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The petition against CJN Onnoghen is believed to border on alleged non-declaration of assets, which was the case brought against him by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja after an earlier petition by Dennis Aghanya of the Anti-Corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative (ARDI).
Onnoghen's Trial is Politically Motivated - APRJ - on Legit TV