Circumstance surrounding the alleged forgery of Senate Standing Rules which the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu and two others are being prosecuted at the FCT High Court was again brought to the fore on Thursday as the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami failed to appear before the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters led by Senator David Umaru.
The AGF’s failure to honour the invitation was sequel to the letter for him to do so initially on the 23rd of June, 2016, but wrote to the Committee demanding for adjournment to enable him prepare for his responses, which was granted.
Though he was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Public prosecution, in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, the Committee Chairman, Senator David Umaru expressed dissatisfaction with Obono-Obla’s explanations that his principal was unavoidably absent, adding that it was not in the tradition of the Senate to interact with proxies.
“Mr. Obla, this is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and this invitation was for the Justice Minister to appear I person, hence, we cannot interact with you on this matter,” Umaru declared.
A member of the Committee, Senator Joshua Lidani, who was visibly angry, said he was not surprised at the turn of events, maintaining that the action of AGF undermines the Senate.
Senator Chukwuka Utazi stated that Nigeria’s democracy was being jeopardize on the altar of egocentricism by those who should know better.
He insisted that there were Court Judgement in favour of the Senate, while wondering what the AGF was looking for to have interfered with issues that were purely Senate’s internal affairs.
Committee Chairman, David Umaru, however, promised that the Committee will to revert to the Senate with report within the two weeks given to them.