It was an action-packed court session today, as several interesting revelations came to light as the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) trial of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, entered its fifth day.
Earlier in the day, based on the Chairman of the CCT, Dan Ladi Umar’s, double-booking of cases at the same time and on the same day, the lead counsel of a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Godsday Orubebe, who is also on trial at the CCT, argued that double-booking two cases was an abuse of court processes.
In a heated rebuttal, the CCT Chairman ordered Orubebe’s counsel to sit down, and said that he was proceeding with Saraki’s case despite the protestations of Orubebe’s counsel.
When the cross-examination of the first witness in the case, Mr. Micheal Wetkas, an official of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) continued, counsel to the Senate President, Paul Usoro (SAN), had to point out that the CCT Chairman was acting as if he was the one on the stand.
In a comical exchange on the usage of credit and debit cards, Usoro asked Wetkas whether he owned a debit card to which Wetkas responded: “I am not a banker, but I have an ATM card.”
At that point, Umar began explaining what a credit card was to the court, to which Usoro responded:
“Thank you for that explanation my lord,” he said, “The only problem that I have here is that my lord is not the one on the witness stand.”
At that point, the whole court burst into laughter, knowing fully well that Umar’s role as a judge is meant to be neutral in the cross-examination process.
The CCT Chairman immediately asked both Counsels to adjourn the cross-examination for 15 minutes.