As the trial of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, continues at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Dan Ladi Umar, has advocated for the return of Decree Number.
Speaking at the end of Tuesday’s proceedings, Umar, who has repeatedly made biased statements that reveal his slant against the defendant, stated that “journalists should be punished” for publishing falsehood,”it is a criminal offence.”
Recall that during the military administration of General Buhari, Decree Number 2 gave the Chief of Staff at Supreme Headquarters the power to detain for up to six months without trial anyone considered a security risk.
At the time, special military tribunals increasingly replaced law courts while the state security agency, the National Security Organisation, were given greater powers.
The chairman said this in response to articles that 1st appeared in Premium Times and ThisDay that the trial of the Senate President was adjourned indefinitely.
It is noteworthy that the CCT Chairman is an extension of the Presidency and his words today have sent a strong signal that the administration of President Buhari, who was at the helm of affairs when this decree was introduced 30 years ago might be coming back.
He singled out a story in one of the national newspapers where it was said that the tribunal had adjourned the trial of Senate President Bukola Saraki indefinitely.
He fumed: “Just because they want to sell their papers and make money? they publish falsehood.”
However, Kanu Agabi, lead counsel of Saraki, intervened, calling for calm.
He advised the press to ensure that they do reports that would promote peace in the country.
The tribunal, thereafter, adjourned to June 15 for continuation of trial.