Assault: CCT chairman’s professional conduct called to question

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said the professional conduct of the chairperson of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, has been called to question following his attack on a security guard in Abuja on Monday.

The NBA, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Rapulu Nduka, said Thursday, that it would probe the circumstances leading to the alleged assault, through its relevant committee.

The details of how the association intends to go about the probe were not revealed in the statement.

But affirming the association’s earlier position expressed by Mr Nduka in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the statement said the outcome of the probe would determine the next line of action.

It expressed dissatisfaction over what it termed as a “naked display of power” by a public officer expected to exhibit a high standard of professional conduct.

It said, “Further, as a member of the legal profession, Danladi Yakubu Umar Esq. is expected, by the extant rules that regulate the conduct of legal practitioners in Nigeria, to maintain a high standard of professional conduct, and not to engage in any conduct which is unbecoming of a member of the legal profession.

“Prima facie evidence available at the moment raise questions regarding whether such standards have been met.

“In view of the foregoing, the NBA shall through its relevant committee, investigate the circumstances leading to the altercation, and depending on its findings, will ensure that appropriate action is taken to address this occurrence.”

The assault

A video clip which has since gone viral, had shown Mr Umar kicking and slapping a 22-year-old security guard, Clement Sargwak, following an altercation that ensued between them over the space where the CCT chairman parked his car on the premises of Banex Plaza in Wuse, Abuja, on Monday.

Mr Sargwak narrated his ordeal in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Wednesday.

The security guard, who had an open injury on his lower lip while talking to this newspaper on Wednesday, said one of Mr Umar’s security details joined in slapping him after the CCT chairman himself hit his mouth.

He said, on Mr Umar’s instruction, he was taken to Maitama Police Station and held there for hours before his lawyer arrived to bail him.

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Mr Umar, through a controversial statement fraught with grammatical and other forms of blunders, earlier on Tuesday, denied the assault allegation.

Without providing proof, he said he was the one that was assaulted by a mob including ‘Biafran boys’ at the scene of the incident.

Olumide Akpata
Olumide Akpata

Naked power

NBA said on Thursday that its attention was drawn to “the video making the rounds where the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) – Danladi Yakubu Umar Esq., was seen, together with his security detail, allegedly assaulting a citizen at Banex Plaza, in Wuse Abuja.”

It added, “We understand that this citizen turned out to be a 22-year-old employee of Jul Reliable Guards Services Limited, posted as a security guard to the Plaza and who is now reportedly hospitalised.

“The NBA has also read the statement credited to the Head, Press and Public Relations of the CCT in response to the actions of Mr Umar.”

It expressed displeasure over Mr Umar’s “display of naked power”.

It stated, “The NBA frowns at any display of naked power by a public officer especially one who, by virtue of his high office, is expected to exhibit a high standard of conduct.

“The situation is all the more critical when it involves the head of an agency of government set up to ensure compliance, by public officers, with the code of conduct.”

Mr Umar has come under sever criticism since the video clip exposing his attack on Mr Sargwak surfaced in the media on Tuesday.

Many have called for his prosecution.

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