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AGF blasts Saraki: I'm not answerable to You

The Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Thursday slammed the Senate over the ongoing trial on forgery of the Senate’s Standing Rules, saying the Red Chamber lacks the jurisdiction to meddle in the matter.

The Federal Government had dragged Bukola Saraki, his deputy Ike Ekweremadu; the outgoing clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa and the deputy clerk, Ben Efeturi, to the FCT High Court over alleged forgery of Rules book.

Trying to play smart, the Senate had invited AGF Malami to appear before its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to explain why he had to act in the "internal affairs" of the legislature.

But Okoi Obono-Oblo, Special Assistant to the President on Public Prosecution, who represented Malami, told the Senate Committee that the matter had gone beyond the Senate.

According to Obono-Oblo, neither the Committee nor the Senate has jurisdiction over a matter in court.
He said: “This committee has no jurisdiction on this matter. It is clearly beyond it.”

He informed the Committee that Malami, whom he intended to represent at the session, is not answerable to the Senate.
Obono-Obla, who was asked to leave due to his stand, blasted the Senators in a chat with newsmen:

“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. The Senate is not on trial. He has not taken the Senate to court. 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 AG invoked his powers under Section 174 (1) to initiate criminal proceedings against those persons.

“And this matter is now before a court of law. There is separation of powers in Nigeria. It is not the position of the Senate to constitute themselves into a court of law.”

When newsmen sought to know whether the matter is the internal affairs of the Senate or not, Malami’s representative said: “It is not true. 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 ."

On the issue of not inviting Saraki by the police, he said: “It doesn’t matter. So, let him go and tell that to the court. That is why he should hands off and allow the court to hear this matter. At the end of the day, if it is established that this charge is frivolous, the court will discharge him.

“But not to take the position that the AG has committed any crime. He’s not answerable to them."

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