Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 11 October 2016 | 2,137 times
The National Assembly today expressed outrage over last weekend’ invasion of the residences of some senior judges across the country by the Department of State Service (DSS).
The House of Representatives went beyond condemnation to summon the Acting Dircetor General of the Director-General of DSS, Lawal Daura. It also constituted an ad-hoc committee to look into the clampdown on judges and report back to the full house.
On their part, Senators took turns during plenary to respond to the attacks, after which the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in his brief comment acknowledged that “the judiciary needs to be sanitised” but condemned the mode of arrest of the judges.
Saraki however moved for the adoption of the recommendations of the lawmakers and referred the matter to Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative inputs and report back in four weeks.
Earlier, Senator Joshua Lidani representing Gombe South, who raised a point of order concerning the wave of arrests, maintained that the fight against corruption should be done within the confines of the law.
According to him, “The Senate supports the fight against corruption but with strict observance to the principles of separation of power.”
He expressed full support of the Senate in the fight against corruption but decried the unlawful approach adopted by the DSS officials.
In his contribution, controversial Senator who represents Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, insisted that the action of the DSS was a misnomer and absurd, having operated outside its mandate.
Melaye said: “These are not allegations of rape, terrorism or crime but of professional misconduct. I acknowledge the existence of corruption in the judiciary but the DSS overstepped and abused its boundaries.”
In his own contribution, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi from Kaduna North, tasked the National Assembly to stress clearly and call relevant agencies to remain within their existing mandate provided by the law.
He said: “The truth is just that the National Assembly cannot provide the rule with one hand and collect it with other hand. So, this is why every agency must operate within the confines of law.”
Senator Chukwuka Utazi from Enugu North, frowned at the democratic government as being practised in the country, saying that “the principle of democracy that we are supposed to espouse cannot be achieved with the way we are doing in this country.”
He said the Gestapo approach has high implications in the international community, adding that “the act cannot be rationalised because the world is watching the Senate and that is why we must rise and stand for justice.”
Deputy Senate Leader Bala N’allah said: “I condemn this action.” He said that “as lawmakers, the way we handle this matter will determine how the public view us in the Senate,” adding: “We have exhibited ways to fight corruption, despite attempts to rubbish the institution.”
•Photo shows the Senate in session.
No comments yet. Be the first to post comment.