Probe of CCT Chairman: Petitioner’s Absence Stalls Proceedings Again | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Probe of CCT Chairman: Petitioner’s Absence Stalls Proceedings Again

Posted: Dec 9, 2015 at 9:04 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Rotimi Akinwumi
For the second time running, the scheduled sitting of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petition to look into the petition against the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar failed to hold on Wednesday  over the petitioner’s inability to provide the required documents.
The first sitting last week was put off because the petitioner, Anti Corruption Network (ACN), refused to make an appearance.
At the Wednesday sitting, the petitioner, though  represented by Lekan Salami, had to ask for one week adjournment once again for them to provide the document requested for by the parliament and for the executive chairman of the network to appear in person for explanation.
Justice Danladi Umar had made appearance on both occasion.
While the petitioner asked for adjournment, the accused urged the committee to dismiss the petition and consider it abandoned, but his request was not granted by the committee.
The representative of the petitioner in requesting for adjournment said “Mr chairman, we want to request the committee to extend this hearing until next week when the documents we were asked to provide by the clerk of the committee would be ready, and also the executive chairman would be around in person to brief the committee.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP, Abia) said it was not the culture of the committee to allow a case linger on over excuses from one party, and therefore sought the CCT chairman’s response over his accusers’ further request.
Justice Danladi, who spent more than two hours waiting before the lawmakers arrived for the sitting, then took time to consult with his team and asked the committee to jettison the case over what he called “the petitioner’s lack of seriousness about the case”.
“We have respect for this institution. We have tight schedules in the office and we have many cases in the office. It appears that they are not serious about the case.
“Last week we came here, and today, we have been here since 11:30. I implore the House to consider this petition abandoned,” he said.
The committee’s chairman however pleaded with Justice Danladi to create time and appear again at the next sitting despite his tight schedule for the purpose of fairness to the petitioner.
While reacting to the petitioner’s request, Nkem-Abonta said “We seriously take exception to this attitude, because justice delayed is justice denied. Last week, we adjourned due to your absence. You must have respect to the people you brought here. However, we would oblige you again.
“Ordinarily, it should be considered abandoned. But for the reason of clarity and fairness, I will crave your indulgence to come back on Tuesday, despite your tight schedule. The matter would be taken or the case stand abandoned”, Abonta warned.
Anti Corruption Network is said to be the brain child of Senator Dino Melaye, a known loyalist of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki who is currently standing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal for false declaration of assets; a case which is being tried by Justice Danladi Umar, the accused in the petition by ACN.