Court declines to halt senate probe of Malami’s involvement in Maina’s return


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Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN) failed yesterday in his bid to halt the ongoing probe, by the National Assembly, of the controversial reinstatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Pension Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja declined to grant an ex-parte motion by Malami, seeking principally, to stop the National Assembly’s probe of Maina’s controversial reinstatement into the civil services.

Although the proceedings took place in the judge’s chambers, it was learnt Justice Nyako ordered the AGF to put the respondents on notice, by serving them with court papers, to enable show cause why the motion should not be granted.

The judge adjourned January 15 for possible hearing.

The AGF is, by the motion, asking the court to determine if the National Assembly has the right to probe issues relating to the “employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant.

It is his argument that the power of investigation vested the National Assembly by Section 88 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is limited and could be exercised within the confines of Section 88 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Malami argued that, as the nation’s Chief Law Officer and Attorney General of the Federation, it was his responsibility to ensure that  the Federal Government of Nigeria and or any of its cognate organs/agencies comply with the express or implied contents of extant judgements and orders of competent courts in Nigeria.

He contended that the National Assembly could not constitute itself into a quasi-appellate court, tribunal or panel with a view to reviewing any executive action taken in compliance with the adverse judgment in suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/65/2013.

Malami wants the court to among others, declare that: “the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant are matters outside the Exclusive and Concurrent Legislative lists contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

He seeks a declaration that the National Assembly cannot legitimately regulate the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant, which are matters exclusively within the purview of the Federal Civil Service Commission under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

Malami also wants the court to declare that the National Assembly lacks the legislative competence to investigate the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant which are matters exclusively within the purview of the Federal Civil Service Commission under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria1999 (as amended).

This suit contradicts Malami’s position in another suit filed before the Federal High Court in Kaduna by Maina, challenging the arrest warrant issued against him by an Abuja court at the instance of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Malami, in his counter affidavit to the suit, urged the court to dismiss it and allow the EFCC, the government agency that got the arrest warrant, to proceed with Maina’s arrest and prosecution.

The AGF told the court that granting any of the reliefs sought by Maina in his suit, will do incalculable and permanent damages to the nation’s fight against corruption as well as reverse all gains made so far.

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