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Accused of corruption, Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman shuns EFCC- PremiumTimes

Aside from the alleged bribe demand and collection, Mr. Umar is also being investigated for maladministration and corruption at the CCT.

The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar, has refused to honour an invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over corruption allegations including allegedly receiving N10 million bribe from a suspect.

The EFCC had sent an invitation to Mr. Umar on March 18; requesting that the tribunal boss appears before the commission on March 27.

Mr. Umar had allegedly demanded a N10 million bribe from a retired Comptroller of Customs, Rasheed Taiwo, who is being prosecuted at the CCT for allegedly failing to declare his asset while in office.

Mr. Taiwo told the EFCC that he paid part of the bribe, N1.8 million, to the chairman of CCT through the latter’s personal assistant.

One refusal too many

A highly placed source at the EFCC had earlier told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Umar failed to honour an invitation sent to him to appear before the commission on December 30, 2013.

The Head Media and Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that Mr. Umar failed to appear before the commission. The accused did not also notify the commission of his reason for not appearing.

It is not clear how the EFCC will handle the defiant Code of Conduct boss, whose mandate as the Chairman of the Tribunal includes curbing corruption among public officials.

Mr. Uwujaren told PREMIUM TIMES that he would consult with the commission’s operatives in charge of Mr. Umar’s case before he can give details of what the commission would do.

“I will have to interact with the operatives on the case to know the way forward on his case,” he said.

Aside from the alleged bribe demand and collection, Mr. Umar is also being investigated for maladministration and corruption at the CCT.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how three staff of the tribunal – its accountant, Shotunde Adeyinka, and two administrative officers, Lucky Eronlan and Johnson Owopetu – who were transferred out of Abuja to Ondo, Bauchi and Katsina states respectively, under controversial circumstances, had petitioned the EFCC on Mr. Umar corrupt practises and his highhandedness.

The trio copied in the Presidency, CCT, National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, the National Judicial Council, NJC, the Senate, Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, and the Attorney General of the Federation on their petition.

In their petition, the trio listed a barrage of corruption allegation, including awarding contracts without due process, making full contract payments to contractors instead of mobilization fees, and dysfunctional appointments and promotion without board approval or regards to federal character.

There was also an alleged disappearance of N24 million belonging to the tribunal that was allegedly found in the Wuse Zone 5 residence of Mr. Umar’s late predecessor.

The seeming corruption at the CCT may not have started with Mr. Umar. His late predecessor, Murtala Sanni, was also indicted of corruption.

Mr. Umar, on assumption of duty, set up a committee to investigate Mr. Sanni for perceived corrupt practices.  The committee found Mr. Sanni culpable of awarding contracts to pseudo contractors amongst other corrupt acts.

The committee recommended that stolen monies be retrieved from Mr. Sanni’s family while all other officials who benefited from the corruption be sanctioned.

It is uncertain if the CCT implemented the recommendations as none of its indicted officials is being prosecuted.

Mr. Umar, who was to provide clarification on these issues to the EFCC, has now twice shunned the commission.

 

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