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AGF Denies Senate’s Allegation Of ‘Coup’ Against Legislature

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

The Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, has denied claims by the Senate that the move to arraign the Senate President and his Deputy for forgery is a coup against the legislature.

Salisu Isa, senior special adviser to the AGF, also said the insinuation that the action of the AGF is an interference on the legislature by the executive arm of government; and therefore a violation of the principles of separation of powers, is also not true.

Isa said the AGF is quite conversant with the principles of separation of power but his action in instituting the suit against the Senate president and his deputy, is in keeping with his responsibilities as the AGF.

He pointed out that the office of the AGF is empowered under section 174 (1) of the constitution to undertake and initiate criminal proceedings in any court of law in the country.

Isa explained further that the AGF did not act in a vacuum but rather had relied on the recommendation of the Inspector-General of Police to initiate criminal proceedings against the affected principal officers of the Senate for altering the Senate standing rules, therefore his actions were quite legal.

He said the IGP has fully investigated the matter which arose from a petition sent to the Nigerian Police by some aggrieved members of the Senate.

The senate President, Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu, as well as the former Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa and his former deputy Benedict Efeturi are to stand trial for allegedly altering the Senate standing rule which was used in the election of the principal officers of the Senate in 2015.

The Senate condemned the action, describing it as a coup against the legislature, adding that it was intended to cause a change in the leadership of the National Assembly.