Breaking: Attorney General of the Federation Appeared Before the Senate Committee on Judiciary

July 13, 2016, 7:17 am

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, appeared before  the Senate Committee on Judiciary and  explained that he charged Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, before an Abuja High Court for forgery in public interest.

More details to follow  ......

As against the allegations by the Senate that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN initiation of legal proceedings against the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and two other in the Federal High Court, describing it as capable of truncating democracy, the Minister has explained that he, in fact acted in defence of the rule of law, justice and based on public interest. In a statement released by Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malami stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters Wednesday at the Committees Hearing Room at the National Assembly.

The Minister told the Committee that instituting criminal charges against the principal officers of the Senate for forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2015 was constitutional and should therefore not be misconstrued as dabbling into what is purely thee domestic affairs of the Senate. AttorneyGeneral of Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami at interactive meeting with Senate committee on Judiciary over the alleged forgery of 2015 senate rules at National Assembly yesterday. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan Malami while responding to questions by the Senators explained that his action was not only done in good faith but in the interest of the public, justice and to further strengthen the nation’s nascent democracy.

He said, “The criminal case my office instituted against the principal officers of the Senate and two other officers of the legislature was to sustain the rule of law, justice and public interest, not to truncate democracy’’ According to him, there are two suits against the culprits; the civil case instituted by the serving senators themselves and the criminal aspect instituted by the Office of the Honourable Attorney General following from the outcome of police investigations on the matter’’, stressing that his action was guided in his submission to court by the Senate Rule Chapter 8, Lines 3. He also submitted that since he has made his submission to the court, it shall therefore be over reaching on his part to comment on it in this circumstance and so as not to be subjudiced.

Malami in his reaction to questions on why he failed to appear before the Senate previously, but waited up to this time pressure was mounting, also denied the Senate’s position on this. “I have the tradition of honouring social invitations much more state or institutional invitation. It is a misconception putting it that I neglected your invitation. Frankly, I was out of the country for urgent national assignment at the time the two invitations were extended to my office.

I regretted my unavailability; please accept my apologies once again.” The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice tacitly accepted that the Senate had every right to regulate its procedures, but succinctly put it to them that the alleged amendment of the 2015 Senate Rule did not pass through the Senate procedure and that prompted his legal action against Saraki, Ekweremadu and two other officers of the legislative house.

“The alleged amended 2015 Senate rule did not pass through the Senate Procedure and that is where my quarrel lies and that fall within purview of criminality”, he explained. Malami further said, ‘’the need to protect and promote public interest, justice and rule of law necessitated me to W and other officers of the legislative house”.

The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters under the Chairmanship of Senator David Umaru, unanimously said that the reason the AGF was invited was actually not in relation to the forgery case preferred against the Senate principal officers and the two others. They explained that what they wanted to know was what informed the Minister’s decision to take what had happened at the floor of the Senate to court, emphasizing that his action was ultra vile and not in public interest and interest of justice. 

Credit: Vanguard

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