Saturday, 10 February 2018

Saraki Vs CCT: Stop Obstructing Justice, Reps Tells Magu, Mallami





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 House of Representatives passed a motion condemning the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, and the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, of obstructing the course of justice in a bid to arrive at a predetermined outcome in the asset declaration case involving the President of the Senate at the code of conduct Bureau


The condemnation by the lower legislative chamber followed a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by Hon. Yakubu Barde (PDP, Kaduna) on the need to restore sanity in the administration of justice in the fight against corruption in the country by the AGF and EFCC.
He expressed concern over the recent turn of events whereby Umar had been charged on a two-count charge for corruption before the FCT High Court by the EFCC.
He noted that the EFCC and AGF had previously cleared Umar of the same allegations which formed the basis of the charges.
Barde expressed concern that the anti-graft agency and the AGF were currently prosecuting cases before the CCT, over which Umar presides as its chairman.
According to him, the EFCC had previously issued a statement absolving Umar of any wrongdoing but the same Umar was now being charged and asked to try the Senate President, giving the appearance that a game was being played to arrive at a pre-determined outcome in the Saraki trial.
He said the development portrayed the legal system as capable of being manipulated and should be of great concern to all Nigerians.
The lawmaker also expressed concern that any possible conviction or findings that the CCT may make by the same Umar, who is also facing trial, may be rendered null and void by the Court of Appeal, thereby frustrating the course of justice.
He said he was particularly disturbed that the AGF had been instrumental to the unwholesome saga playing out in the administration of justice, more so since the AGF, CCT and EFCC are indispensable in the fight against corruption in the country.
Barde said the development was not good for a government that claims to be fighting corruption, adding that it has the potential of ridiculing the country in the international community.
Another view coming from Hon. Sadiq Ibrahim (APC, Adamawa) said though it was not the business of the House to interfere in the judiciary, justice must be seen to be done.
 “Any person who is being investigated for an alleged crime cannot be a judge in another criminal case”.

Also, Hon. Razak Atunwa (APC, Kwara) said the development had made a mockery of the legal system, stressing: “You don’t need to be a lawyer to see that it’s injustice.”
He further expressed regrets that the AGF had allowed the unfortunate scenario to fester, while President Muhammadu Buhari had done nothing to arrest the situation.
Furthermore, Hon. Gabriel Onyenwife (APGA, Anambra) said naturally, justice must be seen to be done to the accused, complainant and society.
He argued that in the present circumstances, justice could not be seen to be done while Umar still chairs the CCT.


But Hon. Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno) argued that a judge accused of a criminal offence could still preside over criminal cases if the allegations against him had not been proven and if he has not been suspended from office.

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