J.S Okutepa Reacts To The Trending Video Of Justice Umar Reported To Have Harassed A Computer Accessories Seller At Banex Plaza, Abu

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There is no doubt that the trending video of  Justice Danladi Umar  the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal ( CCT ) that reported to have harassed a computer accessories seller at popular Banex Plaza, Abuja has generated a lot of reactions among Nigerians.
One of such person to have reacted lately is Senior Advocate of Nigeria,  J.S Okutepa

In his painstaking analysis, let us read what J. S Okutepa  has to say:
” On 30th of March 2021, one Ibraheem Al-Hassan said to be Head, Press and Public Relations Unit, CCT HQ, issued press statement in defence of what appears to be assaults committed by or against the Chairman of Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr Danladi Umar.

In the said Press Statement by the media aide to the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar it was stated that it was rather the CCT Chairman that was assaulted.

Because of what I intend to say I will set out in full the press statement as reported in the media.
It reads:

“Our attention was drawn on a report from some online publication with a video cliff suggesting Hon Chairman, Justice Danladi Y. Umar assaulted a Security Guard at Banex Plaza.

To start with, the said plaza has been his usual place of visits for the past 18 years for shopping and repairs of his phones, and in all these periods there have never been any time he had any turmoil with anybody.

Unfortunately, yesterday’s altercations started over a packing lot, which Chairman met vacant and it was directly opposite a shop he want to make a purchase and to fixe his phone, when the young Security guard sighted him, he ordered that Chairman should not pack his car in that particular empty space, but Chairman asked why, the security guard couldn’t convinced chairman, though Chairman didn’t identify himself, because to him is needless and is a place he visited often, but the boy was rode in his approached and threaten to deal with Chairman if he refuse to leave the scene.

Again, if Chairman had went there to cause trouble or intimidate some one, as suggested in the report, he would have gone there in his full official paraphernalia, but he went there alone with his younger brother.

The Police men seen in the video cliff were not the Chairman’s police team, they were policemen operating around the plaza whom at first instance intervened before the arrival of police team from Maitama Police station. As the few policemen in the complex were apparently overwhelmed by the mobs, consisting of BIAFRAN boys throwing matches and shape object to his car, which led to deep cut and dislocation in one of his finger, causing damage to his car, smashing his windscreen.

At a point he attempted to leave the scene, these same miscreants, BIAFRAN boy ordered for the closure of the gate thereby assaulting him before the arrival of police team from Maitama police station.

An incident like this when it happened, sympathy usually goes to the low personalities. Though is unfortunate as I said, it ought not to have happened.
Ibraheem Al-Hassan,
Head, Press & Public Relations.
March, 30th 2021″

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To start with this press statement if truly it came from CCT, is an admission that the chairman of CCT went to Banex Plaza on the day in question and there were altercations.
It also admits that the Chairman Mr Danladi Umar, parked his car in a place which was not meant for him to park.
The Chairman was approached to re-park his car.
He challenged the authority of the security man to request him to re-park his car. Instead of respecting himself and obey the instruction of the security man, the Chairman refused to obey.
The Chairman argued with the security man. That arguments led to fight and assaults and the Chairman was wounded. Police were invited.

Without attempting blames or passing judgment on any of the parties, and even the grammatical and other errors in this press statement, it is necessary to point out that the Chairman of CCT is not an ordinary Nigerian.

He occupied a position which is not only sensitive but a position that is clothed with garments to enforce code of conduct against public officers.

See item 3 of the 3rd schedule to the 1999 constitution as amended.The Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act under which the Chairman of CCT was appointed expected the highest degree of unimpeachable intergity from the chairman and by the law the chairman is indeed to mirror the aims and objectives of the Bureau in public.

The Chairman was expected to display highest degree of standards of morality and to ensure that his behaviour and actions in public conform to the highest standards of public morality.

Apart from that, the chairman is a lawyer and as lawyer he has a duty to endure that he uphold and observe the rule of law, promote and foster the cause of justice, maintain a high standards of professional conduct and shall not engage in conduct unbecoming of a legal Practitioner.

Clearly from the press statement, the Chairman was told not to park in the place he parked. He refused on the arguments that the space was free.

How did the Chairman know that the place was free. He disobeyed lawful orders of the security man.

The Chairman by his position ought not to engage in public altercations and arguments which has the capacity and was capable of putting his position and office into public approbium, odium and ridicules.

From the press statement of the CCT which cannot be issued without the approval of the chairman and which press statement has not been denied by CCT HQ, it is my respectful view that the Chairman’s conduct in the circumstances in engaging in public altercations with security man was undignified of the office of Chairman of CCT.

That conduct ought not to be celebrated by any right thinking members of the society. As lawyer and chairman of CCT no reasonable person should celebrate the conduct of the chairman as corroborated by the press statement.

The government must not allow this matter to be swept under the carpets. It is not one of those issues that should be treated with levity.

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The HAGF and FGN must not condone this conduct. It must take action.The Chairman cannot be allowed to be sitting over conduct of other public officers when his conduct is in public court. Justice is rooted in confidence and this confidence will be destroyed if nothing is done to restore confidence in the credibility of CCT”.

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