It will be recalled that the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges, and Public Petitions on Monday summoned Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in furtherance to the investigation of corruption allegation against him.
Justice Umar was asked to appear before the Committee “unfailingly” by 2 p.m. on Thursday. The letter of invitation requested Mr. Umar to “come personally” with 12 copies of any submission he wishes to present.
However, Justice Umar has reportedly threatened to boycott the Senate session. In a letter allegedly written by the Registrar of the CCT to the Senate committee and delivered this morning, Justice Danladi said his duty as a presiding judge would prevent him from appearing before the investigating panel.
It is on the strength of this recalcitrance that the Senate might mandate its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to issue a warrant of arrest on Justice Danladi Umar.
The committee is chaired by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East).
A source said: “To save the integrity of the Senate and preserve its powers to summon, we may need to recommend that Justice Danladi should be compelled to honour its summon through arrest.”
He further added that issuing of a warrant of arrest was not subject to the resolution of the Senate at plenary, revealing that Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) gave the committee sufficient power to request the arrest.
He added that Section 89(4) also give the committee the power to ensure that the person being arrested be made to pay for the cost of enforcing the arrest.
“What is required here is for the committee to issue a warrant of arrest and then the President of the Senate will direct the Police to effect the arrest. It is not the business of the Senate during the plenary to do so otherwise we will be offending this part of the constitution,” he said.