The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the leadership of the Senate to “immediately withdraw the unconstitutional summon for Justice Danladi Umar, Chairman Code of Conduct Tribunal to appear before its Ethics Committee, as the Senate can’t arrogate to itself the power to summon judges without violating constitutional safeguards”.
It would be recalled that the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions had summoned the CCT Chairman to appear before it unfailingly tomorrow, Thursday, over allegations of corruption against him.
The summons came on a day Justice Umar ordered that Senate President Bukola Saraki’s trial for alleged false assets declaration and money laundering will run daily.
Civil Society Organizations, lawyers and cross-section of Nigerians had condemned the upper chamber for the move, describing it as a counter-attack against the CCT chairman.
Alluding to this school of thought, SERAP said that “The summon represents a direct assault upon the principle of judicial independence as it undermines the constitutional principle of separation of powers and guarantee of a judicial system that is free from outside influence of whatever kind and from whatever source. The Senate of Dr Bukola Saraki is perpetrating a parliament of men and not of laws”.
The group in a statement on Wednesday and signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni reads in part: “The constitutional power of the Senate can only be validly exercised if it’s intended to be in aid of the function of law-making itself. There is clearly no suggestion of contemplated legislation in this case. The Senate not only has exceeded the limit of its own authority, but assumed a power which could only be properly exercised by another branch of the government. We therefore advise Justice Umar to ignore its invitation as it is of no legal effect whatsoever.
“The Senate in its blind zeal to protect the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki, who is facing corruption charges before the Tribunal is working hard to destroy the foundation of the country’s constitutional democracy. This is a blatant usurpation of power, and an attack upon the integrity of constitutional government and the rule of law.
“The Senate doesn’t have the power to summon any judge, including Justice Umar. If there is any credible allegation of corruption against Justice Umar, it ought to be dealt with by the appropriate law enforcement agencies and that cannot be the Senate.
“The Senate can’t lawfully exercise any authority beyond the limits marked out by the constitution. It’s manifestly repugnant to constitutional safeguards which assign to each organ of the government its exclusive functions and a limited sphere of action. This invitation, coming on the heels of the decision by the Tribunal for Saraki’s trial to be conducted day-by-day pursuant to Section 396(6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, is clearly politically motivated.
“While the Senate is empowered under Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to conduct an inquiry for the purpose of enabling it to among others make laws, correct any defects in existing laws, expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence, it doesn’t possess the power to get involved in alleged criminal matter. The Senate is in no sense a court, police or anti-corruption agency, and for it to attempt to act as one, would bring about insurmountable legal and political problems”.
Saraki Leads PDP’s Nati youonal Reconciliation Panel
Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has been appointed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the chairman of its National Reconciliation Committee.
The committee made up of five other members is expected to work to resolve grievances and disagreements among party members across the country.
This development was confirmed in a tweet late on Monday night by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
— Kola Ologbondiyan (@officialKolaO) November 23, 2020
Other members of the committee are former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Ayim; former Governors Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), and Ibrahim Shema (Katsina); as well as former House Minority Leader, Mulikat Akande.
Fashola: If We Keep Our Promises, APC Will Retain Power In 2023
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has expressed optimism that Nigerians will still vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) back to power in 2023.
Fashola, however, added that the only thing that can make Nigerians not to vote for the APC is if the party fails to fulfill its campaign promises to them.
The Minister made this remark while speaking with journalists on Monday in Abuja.
He noted that even if the promises are not 100% fulfilled but the citizens see signs of commitment and progress, other parties should forget about displacing APC in 2023.
The former Lagos State Governor added that opposition parties are not doing better than the APC, hence should not expect Nigerians to vote for them come 2023.
He said: “Some governors have joined us, from where we think we could not get voters before. To retain power in 2023, certainly if we keep our promises, people will vote for us. It is that simple, that is politics,” the former Lagos governor said.
“If you do what you say you will do, even if you don’t do hundred percent and they see that you are making progress, they will even want you to finish what you started.”
Akeredolu Sacks Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has sacked the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye.
This was made known in a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye.
Akeredolu immediately appointed a human rights lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, as the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
According to the statement, the Ondo State governor would forward Titiloye’s name to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
Akeredolu also expressed his appreciation to the sacked commissioner for services rendered to the state.
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