Reps angry over Saraki’s retrial, to engage Malami, Magu

Members of the House of Representatives yesterday expressed anger over alleged “Manipulation of Nigeria’s legal system” in the retrial of Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The lawmakers alleged that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were the architects of the manipulation.

Adopting a motion by Minority Whip, Yakubu Barde (PDP, Kaduna) the House noted with concern the recent charge by the EFCC against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, after clearing him of same.

The lawmakers said the same Umar is prosecuting a retrial case against Saraki, who is the Chairman of the National Assembly.

They said any convictions or findings by Umar may be rendered null and void by the court of appeal and thereby frustrating the course of justice.

Barde in his motion said the retrial by Umar has the tendency to give an impression that a game was being arranged to meet certain predetermined result portraying Nigeria’s legal system as capable of manipulation.

While condemning the action, the House mandated its committee on judiciary to interact with the AGF to ensure that sanity was brought back to the case at hand.

Contributing to the debate, Aliyu Hamman-Pategi (APC, Kwara) said the retrial is a case of political manipulation and that the current administration was using the EFCC and CCT as tools of political witch-hunt.

But Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno) argued that a judge being accused of an offence could still preside over such matter because of the presumption of innocence as enshrined in the constitution.

Other members who spoke supported the motion. It was unanimously passed when put to voice vote by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.