(APC Niger East), declaring that Malami has not honoured any of the invitations extended to him by the committee since last month, when the upper legislative chamber called for explanations from him through resolution, over forgery case against the principal officers and others, Saraki threatened that if the AGF failed to appear before the committee once more, the senate would have no other option than to exercise its constitutional powers in making him to appear. He said: “We all heard the explanation of the chairman on Judiciary, and what he is trying to get across to us here is to tell us the status of the situation because what we have been reading in the papers was of great concern where the number one judicial officer of the country will be the one that will be flouting the Constitution. Because 89 (c) is very clear. “But it appears from what you are saying that the Attorney General is
When alleged Rules forgery divided senators
THE SUMMON, last week of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Malam Abubakar Malami, SAN by the Senate to explain reasons for re- opening the alleged forgery trial of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; immediate past Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa and the Clerk to the Senate, Ben Efeturi, was largely ineffective because of the sharp divisions among members of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters. It was expected to be one of the most tough appearances by the AGF before any panel since the beginning of his career, going by the threat of the upper legislative chamber during plenary last Tuesday, but the number one judicial officer found himself being at home following the division among the senators, some of who seemed to be in support of the continuity of the trial. The senate had summoned Malami to appear before the committee two times before last week, and failed to show up twice, though he sent a representative during the second summon. His representative was however, walked out by the committee which insisted on having audience with the AGF personally. The AGF’s action infuriated the Upper House, which threatened to issue warrant of arrest on him or withdraw his confirmation as a member of the Federal Executive Council, FEC if he fails again to appear before its committee for explanations on his recent action which it described as a threat to the nation’s democracy on or before Friday last week. In his ruling following a point of order raised by the committee chairman, Senator David Umaru
requesting for one more chance to be given to appear before you. And I think as a Senate, it is always in the progress of development. And as such we will do that and ensure that he does come this time, otherwise we will have no choice than to follow the constitution strictly. “So, you will report back to us before the end of the week to let us know the status of that situation. And if that does not happen, we will go ahead and go in line with the Constitution very clearly”. When the AGF finally appeared in person before the committee last Wednesday, he maintained that the trial of the principal officers and two others must continue, citing the violation of Section 60 of the 1999 constitution as amended, in the alleged amendment of the 2015 Senate Standing Rules. He added that the suspects would be prosecuted to the end in line with public interest. Efforts by the committee chairman and some other members to convince Malami that the trial amounted to interference in the internal affairs of the Senate particularly as regards non mentioning names of senate president and his deputy in the petition and written statements of any of the 14 witnesses, proved abortive as the AGF for fear of subjudice , declined further comments. Already, some members of the committee had pitched their tents with the AGF on the case, leading to open disagreement among them. But for the maturity of the committee chairman, it would have caused rowdiness, if not pandemonium inside the Hearing Room. Specifically, Senator Babajide Omoworare (APC Osun East), openly declared at the session that he was not bordered about the forgery case and that submissions made against it by some of his colleagues were merely their personal views , since according to him, senateresolution believed by them to have authenticated the alleged amendment, does not have retroactive effect. “A resolution of the senate in the eye of the law, cannot retroactively validate or authenticate anything done before it”, he said. This submission did not go down well with some other members like Chukwwka Utazi (PDP Enugu North), who openly requested the chairman to call Omoworare to order, and when it appeared his request was not approved, he shouted, “Go to the side of the AGF. You are not with us here”. At this point, the chairman intervened by making Omoworare to discontinue with his submission. In his response to some questions put to him by the senators, Malami agreed that though section 60 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended allowed the National Assembly to regulate its own procedure, he however alleged that due process was not followed while the 2015 Senate Standing Rules was amended by the 8th Senate. Section 60 (1and 2) state thus: “Subject to provisions of this constitution, each House of Parliament may regulate its own procedure. “Each House of Parliament may act notwithstanding any vacancy


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