Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 21 June 2016 | 2,218 times
The Senate has summoned the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, to explain and justify with evidence the basis for the arraignment of some principal officers of the National Assembly over alleged forgery of Senate Standing Orders of 2015.
Those who were accused and were today dragged to court are Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, former Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, and his Deputy, Mr Benedict Efeturi.
The upper chamber declared that its Standing Rule remains authentic and not forged as claimed, adding that its principal officers are accused of a fraud that does not exist.
Raising a point of order on the issue during plenary on Tuesday, Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, said the emerging trend poses a threat to security and Nigeria’s unity. He said the Executive has decided to be chasing rats when the economy is gradually falling into recession.
“The same rule that is said to be a fraud was used to screen nuisance like Attorney General of the Federation, Ministers, Ambassadors, Directors, etc,” Melaye said. “This Senate, without fear or favor, will continue to promote the peace and unity of this great nation,” he added.
Contributing to the debate, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, representing Delta North, said that he was not sent to the Senate to legislate with fear or as a coward but to represent his constituents. He said: “The Senate needs to rise to speak and defend democracy as there is an attempt to strangulate the legislature. Whoever is not satisfied with the Senate Standing Rule should move for an amendment as it is required,” he said.
Senator representing Enugu North, Chukwuka Utazi, advised that the Senate should work as a united arm of government and not be intimidated, saying that “the affairs of the Senate should not be the business of someone else outside.” He described the allegation against the Senate principal officers as a blow to democracy which could be compared to a blow from a military regime.
Senator Isah Misau, representing Bauchi Central, explained that the accusation may likely be an attempt to smear the reputation of President Muhammadu Buhari because there are most things which go on without the President’s knowledge. “It must have been a calculated attempt by the AGF who may likely be sponsored by a group of people somewhere else,” Isah said.
In his contribution to to the debate, Ekweremadu said: “I will not want to say much because I am involved in this case. But for those using their office to persecute others, let them know that there is tomorrow.”
•Photo shows AGF Abubakar Malami, SAN.
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