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Nigerian Senate Insists Its Standing Orders were not Forged | Summons AGF Abubakar Malami

Senate The Senate on Tuesday summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, to appear before its members within 48 hours over alleged forgery against its leaders.

The upper chamber asked the minister to appear before its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.

The invitation followed a motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Dino Melaye, at plenary on Tuesday after a two-hour close-door session.

In the motion, Melaye argued that the action of the Attorney-General was a disregard to the decision of the court on the matter which was resolved in 2015.

He said that the motion was on the imminent threat to democracy as it related to the alleged invitation of principal officers by a court in Abuja.

“We note with regret the defiant act of the Attorney-General of the Federation of contentiously disregarding the decision of the Federal High Court.

This is without a pending appeal by the Police and the Attorney-General on the same matter, which the Federal High Court had decided.

To file charges against the leadership of the National Assembly is a gross violation of the Attorney-General’s calling and an attempt to overthrow the legislative arm of government and force autocracy on the senate.

The current attempt to arraign the leadership of the senate over an internal matter of the senate is an attempt to overthrow the legislative arm.

The judiciary has through several rulings in a recent suit number 88C/ABJ/CS/646/2015 on the same issue warned the executive arm from criminalizing or interfering in the running of the internal affairs of the senate,” he said.

He added that the national assembly was empowered by Section 60 of the 1999 Constitution to regulate its procedures.

Melaye expressed concern that the recent development on the alleged forgery of the Standing Orders was a threat to democracy.

Many senators, including Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, spoke in favour of the motion before it was unanimously adopted.

Ekweremadu said, “I don’t intend to say much because I am involved. Those that use their position today to intimidate others must realise that no condition is permanent.”

After the adopting the motion, the lawmakers resolved that the minister was expected to explain and justify with evidence, the basis for filing a charge against the leadership of the senate.

They said that the minister filed the charge after a court order restraining him from interfering in the internal affairs of the senate.

He is also expected to explain why his action had not constituted gross misconduct, incompetence, contempt of court and abuse of his office.

The senate insisted that its 2015 Standing Orders were not forged.

“This senate notes also the lack of respect for judicial decisions and the resolutions of the national assembly by the executive which is beginning to arrogate to itself the unified powers of the federation.

The senate acknowledges the great implication of this emerging trend poses to the security, continued existence and survival of our dear country.

The senate observes the ongoing systematic degradation of the leadership of the National Assembly by the executive arm of government through intimidation and harassment.

There remains a grand design not only to distract the national assembly but to also intimidate it by enthroning a one-man rule,” they said.