The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters yesterday walked out a representative of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, during a hearing on the Senate Rules forgery suit.
Malami was represented by Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, a special adviser to the president on Prosecution (attached to Ministry of Justice).
The senate had penultimate Tuesday summoned Malami over the forgery suit following a motion sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West).
The chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Senator David Umaru, said the purpose of the session was to interact with the AGF on the forgery suit.
When he asked whether the AGF was around or not, Obono-Obla said he was representing him. He told the committee that it lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Senator Umaru then told Obono-Obla “Our invitation is for the AGF and not you. So, we cannot listen to you. We will report back to the plenary for us to take decision on this”.
Senators David Umaru (APC, Niger East), Chukuwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North) and Joshua Lidani (PDP, Gombe South) attended the hearing.
But speaking to journalists on his way out, Obono-Obla said the forgery issue over which Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, are facing trial, is not an internal affair of the senate.
“It is not true that it is an internal affair. 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.
“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,” he said. He said the senate was not on trial.
“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 AGF invoked his powers under Section 174 (1) to initiate criminal proceedings against those persons. And this matter is now before a court of law,” he added.