Forgery suit: Sen­a­tors walk out AGF’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive

‘Case not an in­ter­nal af­fair of Se­nate’

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Is­mail Mu­dashir

The Se­nate Com­mit­tee on Judiciary, Hu­man Rights and Le­gal Mat­ters yes­ter­day walked out a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Min­is­ter of Jus­tice and At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion, Abubakar Malami, dur­ing a hearing on the Se­nate Rules forgery suit.

Malami was rep­re­sented by Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, a spe­cial ad­viser to the pres­i­dent on Prose­cu­tion (at­tached to Min­istry of Jus­tice).

The se­nate had penul­ti­mate Tues­day sum­moned Malami over the forgery suit fol­low­ing a mo­tion spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Dino Me­laye (APC, Kogi West).

The chair­man of the Com­mit­tee on Judiciary, Sen­a­tor David Umaru, said the pur­pose of the session was to in­ter­act with the AGF on the forgery suit.

When he asked whether the AGF was around or not, ObonoObla said he was rep­re­sent­ing him. He told the com­mit­tee that it lacked the ju­ris­dic­tion to en­ter­tain the mat­ter.

Sen­a­tor Umaru then told Obono-Obla “Our in­vi­ta­tion is for the AGF and not you. So, we can­not lis­ten to you. We will re­port back to the ple­nary for us to take de­ci­sion on this”.

Sen­a­tors David Umaru (APC, Niger East), Chukuwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North) and Joshua Li­dani (PDP, Gombe South) at­tended the hearing.

But speak­ing to jour­nal­ists on his way out, Obono-Obla said the forgery is­sue over which Se­nate Pres­i­dent, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ek­w­ere­madu, are fac­ing trial, is not an in­ter­nal af­fair of the se­nate.

“It is not true that it is an in­ter­nal af­fair. If I go to the cham­bers of the Na­tional As­sem­bly to shoot you, would it be an in­ter­nal af­fair? The Se­nate Rule is a law and some­body al­legedly forged the rules.

“The AG has not done any­thing wrong. The AG has not un­der­mined democ­racy. He acted pur­suant to his pow­ers vested on him by the Con­sti­tu­tion. Sec­tion 174 (1) says he can pros­e­cute any­body. And he has done that,” he said. He said the se­nate was not on trial.

“He has taken four per­sons to court. They are not the se­nate. Be­ing pres­i­dent of the se­nate does not make you the se­nate of the Fed­eral Re­pub­lic of Nige­ria. The mat­ter was in­ves­ti­gated by the po­lice and a prima fa­cie case was es­tab­lished and the AGF in­voked his pow­ers un­der Sec­tion 174 (1) to ini­ti­ate crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings against those per­sons. And this mat­ter is now be­fore a court of law,” he added.

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