CCT Chairman, Danladi Threatens To Jail Journalists [Update]
The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Justice Danladi Umar, said he will not hesitate to send any journalist distorting facts from proceedings to jail.
Umar said this on Thursday while reacting to some newspaper headlines from proceedings on the last adjourned date.
The CCT judge alleged that some newspapers distorted facts when they allegedly reported that Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), accused the federal government of tampering with his asset declaration forms.
ElombahNews had, on March 18, reported that the suspended CJN alleged that his Assets Declaration Form 001 at CCB had been tampered with.
Onnoghen had made the allegation at his resumed trial on alleged non-declaration of some of his assets before CCT.
The said documents are the CCB assets declaration forms of 2014 and 2015.
The prosecution after calling its 1st witness, James Akalla, a Senior Investigative Officer with the CCB, had sought to tender the said documents in support of his evidence against Onnoghen.
However when the documents were shown to the defendant, Onnoghen through his counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, however said a careful look at the documents showed that they had been tampered with.
According to him, the 2014 form has become loose, part of it mutilated and has become blue in a way.
Awomolo said a similar observation was made in the 2015 form with some duplications and omission of some pages.
“We have some reservation on the documents, we will not object in the interest of justice but we have reservations that would be addressed at the end of the day”, the senior lawyer stated.
Reacting, Umar said he was displeased about “the distortion and misrepresentation” of what transpired at the tribunal last Monday by a section of the media.
He, therefore, warned that he would henceforth wield his powers against journalists.
His words: “Henceforth, any journalist carrying concocted or discredited statement which is not adduced before this tribunal, I will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law heavily on the person.
“The journalist will languish there and may remain there (in prison) until I retire about 28 years from now.
“The person will be summarily sent to prison because that is contempt.
“It does not matter whether the contempt is committed in facie curiae (before the court) or ex facie curiae (outside the court)”, he fumed.