From Fred Itua, Abuja
SENATE, yesterday, said it has been vindicated by last Thursday’s ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which described the forgery case filed against its presiding officers as an abuse of court process and a decision taken against public interest.
Spokesman Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi claimed the ruling by Justice Gabriel Kolawole further confirmed that Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami was “acting personal and partisan script in filing the charges, while simply abusing his position as the nation’s chief law officer.”
Senate also called on Malami to address the issue of his personal and pecuniary interest in the case as “he was a counsel to the aggrieved Senators who decided to take the issue of election of the leadership of the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly outside after they failed in their bid to get their preferred candidate elected.”
Senate also noted that “as it has now become obvious from the ruling of Justice Kolawole, and in the facts of the matter before the Federal High Court, Malami was the one who advised his clients to report the matter to the police, and now that he has become AGF, he decided to use his constitutional powers to pursue private interest by filing a criminal case in the FCT High Court against the subsisting ruling of a court of co-ordinate jurisdiction.
“When Senate invited the AGF to come and throw light on the forgery case, it was not to challenge his right to file, take over or discontinue any criminal case, but for him to explain the issues of conflict of interest, abuse of office, disrespect of a subsisting order of a court and violation of the principle of separation of powers which are being raised against him.
“When his supporters jumped up and started abusing Senate over the invitation, we knew our position that an Attorney General, and, indeed, any public officer for whose office public funds are appropriated can be invited by the Senate and the House of Representatives to explain certain issues, is on firm, constitutional ground. And, that is in spite of the fact that the AGF is responsible to the president who appointed him.
“It should be noted that Malami’s name is still on the list of lawyers defending Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi and others in the Federal High Court…”