NASS, executive faceoff: Finally, AGF Malami appears before Senate

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja

The Attorney-general of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami has finally appeared before Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters over the forgery case involving President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar  Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu forgery case.

Addressing the committee members,  Malami said as a product of democracy, he cannot be seen to be against democratic institutions like the Senate.

 Malami stated that the case against the two leaders of the Senate and the two others predate his appointment as Minister on November 12, 2015 just as he denied bias and malice in the way and manner he had handled the case. 

“I only inherited a concluded investigative report. These two cases are already subjudice and no arms of government can look into it now,” he said. 

He quoted copiously from the Senate Rules Book, stating that when a case is in court, such a matter shall not be discussed. 

In his remarks, the Committee Chairman, Senator David Umoru said Section 88, 89 of 1999 Constitution grants them powers to undertake what they are now doing. 

Umoru also stated that Order 97 of Senate Rules Book also grants them powers to summon ministers and discuss the issues at stake but added that “We are not going into forgery cases against our principal officers, only how the case started in July last years.” 

The committee members also asked Malami to state if he acted in public interest with the way he handled the cases. 

Sen. Joshua Lidani wonders if AGF Malami being a former Counsel to aggrieved senators is not an abuse of office. 

Senators Omo-Agege and Omoworare says Judiciary Committee expected an apology from AGF Malami for not coming but he did not offer one. 

“My inability to attend was out of sheer circumstances not out of disgust for Senate. I am known for a tradition of honouring invitations. The procedure in question was not a procedure of the Senate, but outside it hence the amendment of standing orders was not internal matters.” He said.

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