Reps chide Malami, Magu over alleged manipulation of Saraki’s trial

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The House of Representatives Thursday condemned what it termed the “manipulation of the legal system” by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu in the renewed trial of the Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

The decision followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by the House Minority Whip, Yakubu Barde during plenary session presided by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

The House also mandated its Committee on Judiciary to meet with Malami to ensure that sanity is brought back on the matter.

Barde expressed concern over the recent turn of event whereby the Chairman of the CCT, Danladi Umar has been charged with two count charges of corruption before the FCT High Court by the EFCC, even after the same EFCC and Malami had previously cleared Umar of the very same allegations that form the basis of the two counts.

Barde drew the attention of his colleagues to the fact that it is the same EFCC and Malami prosecuting cases before the same CCT, which Justice Umar sits as chairman.

The fact that EFCC had previously issued a statement absolving Justice Umar of any wrongdoing, but is suddenly being charged and at the same time asked to try the Senate President, conveys the impression that a game is being arranged to meet certain predetermined results.

This, he contended is portraying the country’s legal system as capable of being manipulated to achieve certain interests.

Ahman Pategi (APC, Kwara) maintained that the manipulation was being orchestrated by the presidency to edge out Saraki who emerged as senate president against the wish of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Ibrahim Sadiq (APC, Adamawa) said as things stand, justice would not be served the senate president. He said Justice Umar should have disqualified himself from adjudicating on the matter.

Atunwa Razak (APC, Kwara) who described the scenario as manifestly offensive, absurd and repugnant to natural justice said the outcome of the matter would be rendered null and void.

Gabriel Onyereri (APGA, Anambra) said both the EFCC and Malami cannot reprobate and aprobate on the issue since it was against the principle of natural justice, adding that there was a deliberate effort to determine the outcome of the matter against Saraki.

But Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno) faulted the notion that the scenario painted by the mover of the motion was aimed at determining the outcome of the matter.

He maintained that there was nothing wrong in Justice Umar adjudicating on the matter since he is presumed innocent of the charges filed against him until proven to be guilty in court.

Also, members of the Kwara State caucus of the House rose from emergency meeting with a call on the Justice Minister to handle Saraki’s case professionally and without bias.

Spokesman of the Caucus, Razaq Abdulrazak Atunwa said he was taken aback by the questionable role being played by Malami on the matter.

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