The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has said that he exercised the powers conferred on him when he filed a two-count charge of forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery against the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, and two others.
In a statement issued on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Mr Salihu Isah, the AGF said that he acted on the recommendation sent to him by the just retired Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase.
While calling on the Senators to prepare for their trial, he accused the leadership of the Senate of whipping up sentiment and also rejected the allegation that filing the charges amounted to abuse of the principle of separation of powers.
The minister said his office was empowered under Section 174 (1) of the Constitution and vested with the power to undertake and initiate criminal proceedings in any court of law in Nigeria.
He also faulted the argument of the Senate that what transpired was an emdnement of the rules and not forgery.
He said: “Forgery of the Senate Standing Rules cannot be described as the internal business of the National Assembly that is exclusively only in its purview.
“The Attorney General of the Federation cannot therefore be faulted for his decision to initiate legal actions against the accused for alleged forgery after a thorough police investigation of the issue whether there was an amendment of the Senate Standing Rules in 2015 or not.”
Exceprts from the statement read: “By virtue of this power as the Chief Law Officer of the nation, he has simply initiated criminal proceedings for forgery against the affected principal officers in the Senate for altering the Senate Standing Rules in the Federal High Court.
“It is worthy to note here that the action of the Attorney General of the Federation can stand the test of any law since he did not act on a vacuum.