Judges’ Arrest: Reps Threaten Malami With Warrant Of Arrest

 Judges’ Arrest: Reps Threaten Malami With Warrant Of Arrest


The House of Representatives has threatened to issue warrant of arrest against the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, if he fails to appear before its investigative panel on Tuesday.
According to Garba Datti, who chairs ad hoc committee investigating cases of invasion of properties and arrest of persons for reasons outside the general duties of the State Security Services as prescribed by the National Securities Act, since May 29, 2015, the AGF has refused to honour the committee’s invitation twice.
He added that the AGF also declined to make official submission to the committee.
Datti said: “The only area we are having problem is the AGF, who is the chief law officer. We sent letters to him, no answer and no memorandum from him. Before the public hearing, we had summoned him even today (Thursday), he did not appear or sent any representation.
“This committee is disturbed by the non-appearance of the AGF. We have given him the opportunity to appear on Tuesday (next week) November 29, failure of which this committee will invoke all the relevant laws that give us power for arrest.”
However, while the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) said the SSS has not erred by the search and alleged arrest of the judicial officers, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) disclosed that it was not involved in the alleged search and arrest of the judges.
The EFCC, however, stated that it was also investigating some judicial officers.
ICPC Chairman Nta Ekpo Nta backed his assertion with legal instruments, saying, “Section 3(1) of the SSS instrument I of 1999 provides that: “For the purpose of facilitating the discharge of its functions under these instrument, personnel of the State Security Services are hereby conferred with the powers of Superior Police officer in respect of searches and arrest.”
“Likewise, section 3 (2b) of the SSS Instrument I of 1999 provides that in the execution of its functions set out in the Instrument, the SSS shall have power to “impound and keep in its custody the passports or any other property of persons or organisations under investigation if considered appropriate by the Director-General.”
On his part, EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, who was represented by Johnson Ojogbana, Assistant Director (Prosecution), said his agency was empowered to initiate investigation of individual, organisation or any judges, including public or political office holders.
According to him, the anti-graft agency’s statutory powers include investigation and prosecution of all financial and economic crimes and any form of fraud, narcotic drug and trafficking, money laundering, embezzlement, bribery, looting and any form of corrupt malpractices.
“I can say that EFCC was not involved in that wee hours’ operation. We have been investigating some judges and our modus operandi have been painstaking. We have not investigated all of them (judges), a few of them filed petitions and investigations are ongoing,” he said.
Noting that complaints against the incidence should not be equated with opposition to the anti-corruption fight, Ojogbana said it was the methodology employed that was questioned.
“There is a way to do something good and it becomes bad. It is the duty of the committee to review procedures of operations of the security agencies to be in line with the democratic tenets,” he added.


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