The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on Wednesday appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
He told the committee that he could not make specific comments on the case since it is already in court.
Malami held that being a counsel on one of the suits filed by aggrieved senators after the emergence of the present leadership of the senate did not constitute any conflict of interest.
The AGF said that his office was convinced that the suit should be prosecuted in the interest of the public.
According to PUNCH, Malami refused to answer queries by members of the committee, on why he was prosecuting the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, despite the fact that their names were not allegedly mentioned in the police report.
The AGF, quoting from both the 1999 Constitution and the Senate rule book said, “the proof of evidence is before the court. I am a party in the suit being the prosecutor. I can’t comment on the question you asked because doing so would be subjudice.”
“I was invited to appear before the committee based on a letter which reads ‘Imminent threat to Nigeria democracy.’ I have a clear obligation to do whatever should be done within the context of the constitution to sustain the democratic process.
The issue that constitutes the basis of this invitation is a criminal case instituted against certain members of the Senate. It is an act that predates my appointment. There are a series of suits.
I was appointed on November 12, 2015. That is four months after the investigation was concluded by the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). I have an obligation in the sustenance of democracy to institute a legal action from an investigation that has been concluded. It was based on this that I took the action.
The action was not taken to truncate any democratic process, but was taken to protect democracy. There are now two pending cases in court. One is a civil case instituted by some senators. The other is a criminal case instituted by the office of the AGF.
The initiation behind the forgery case was taken in the interest of the public and in the interest of democracy. I want to state clearly that my decision was based on public interest and the aim is to prevent abuse of public offices.
The National Assembly has the powers to regulate its own procedure. But the basis for filing my case was that the position taken was not that of the Senate. The Senate Standing Rules allegedly amended in 2015 did not follow the traditional way of amendment,” he added.
Photo Credit: Twitter – @NGRSenate