Forgery: Nigerian Senators walk out Buhari’s aide

The crisis rocking the Senate over alleged forgery of the 2015 Standing Order yesterday took another dimension as the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters walked out the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono- Oblo.

The committee also noted that failure of the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, to appear was not only a slap on the Senate, but also insultive. The AGF, for the second time yesterday, shunned the summon of Senate to explain why he dragged the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and two others to court over alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Order. Soon after Oblo, who appeared before the committee, headed by Senator David Umaru, APC Niger East, introduced himself as the Special Assistant to President Buhari who is attached to the office of the Minister, the Committee members dismissed his presence insisting on seeing the AGF and not the President. Umaru told Mr. Obono-obla that the committee did not invite President Muhammadu Buhari, but the Justice Minister, adding that since the Minister failed to honour the invitation, he did not respond to the committee. Umaru, who noted that the Minister had initially requested that the committee grant him time to study the issues, stressed that there was an imminent threat to democracy because of the action of the AGF. “Our democracy is seriously under threat because the AGF who had asked for time to prepare has now refused to appear. We cannot hear you, I am sorry,’’ he said. Corroborating the Committee Chairman, one of the members of the Committee, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, said the committee never invited the President, but the Attorney General and since he has failed to honour the invitation, it thus means that the Minister did not respond to the invitation of the committee. Senator Utazi, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Anti- Corruption, said: “We did not invite the president to appear before us, so since the AGF is not here, we deem it that he did not respond to our invitation. This (failure of AGF to appear before the senate) is a slap on this arm of government. The AGF had refused to appear before us, leaving us to decide what to do. According to him, the senate committee is only interested in asking the AGF questions on his decision to initiate the prosecution of the principal officers of the Senate, despite ongoing cases in courts of coordinate jurisdiction, challenging the case against the leaders of the Senate.

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