Drama At CCT As Saraki, Orubebe’s Trials Clash
The famous ‘Orubebe’ incidence which occurred during the collation of results in the 2015 presidential election played out today at the Code of Conduct Tribunal as the trial of former minister of Niger Delta affair, Godsday Orubebe and Senate president Bukola Saraki clashed at the tribunal.
Justice Umar had yesterday ruled that the trial of the Senate president will continue on Wednesday day at 10am.
Dismissing the application of Saraki’s counsel to adjourn the trial by one week, Umar said: “We are not here for one person. We are doing this on the provisions of this act. I have said it and that is final.” Umar said.
But while Saraki’s case was slated for 10am on Wednesday, the CCT Judge had also scheduled hearing on the charges levelled against the former Minister over alleged false declarations, at the same time Saraki’s case was to be heard.
Despite fixing 10am for both trials, Justice Umar arrived late to the court at exactly 11:39am and opted to hear Orubebe’s case.
But the prosecution counsel in Mr. Orubebe’s matter drew the attention of Mr. Umar to the fact that the lead counsel for Mr. Saraki was a highly revered senior advocate, and that as the practice of the bench demands, it was against the norm to start with a matter relating to junior counsel, even if he was a Senior Advocate too.
A mild drama however played out when Umar said he would only give him 30 minutes to Selekeowei Larry, counsel to Orubebe, to cross-examine a witness after which his case would be adjourned for the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki to continue.
In a fit of rage, Orubebe’s counsel countered the judge’s statement, saying Saraki’s case was not more important than his.
He went on to insist, by shouting, that his case must proceed without latitude before Saraki’s.
But Umar cautioned him, saying “talk to us in a manner that is dignifying”.
Larry retorted: “We cannot be pushed aside because there is another case on the cause list.”
“I know whom to respect and definitely not you,” Larry added.
Visibly angry, Umar thundered: “We will proceed with your case tomorrow morning. Call the second case.”