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Senate to summon AGF over Executive Order

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The Senate is set to summon the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, over the recent Executive Order Number 6 recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

It also raised the alarm over rise in cases of alleged human rights violations and consistent assault on the provisions of the 1999 Constitution by the Executive.

This was contained in a motion sponsored by the Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, David Umaru (APC, Niger State).

Although the motion was scheduled on the Order Paper for Tuesday, Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah moved that the motion be stepped down to another legislative day due to the absence of the committee chairman.

The Executive Order gives the Attorney General of the Federation as well as law enforcement agencies the power to seize and freeze the assets of any person against whom allegations of corruption have been made, pending the outcome of investigations.

But observers have expressed concern that the Order would be used by the Executive to witch-hunt perceived political enemies.

In the motion, Umaru also frowned at the president’s unilateral release of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the purchase of 12 super Tucano aircrafts from the United States Government without prior approval by the National Assembly.

This, he said, contravenes Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He cited notable instances of human rights violations to include continuous detention of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki in disregard for court orders granting his release, detention of the Chairman Senate Committee on Power Enyinnaya Abaribe, incarceration of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), lbrahim El-Zakzaki for over two years contrary to court orders among others.

The prayers of the motion read: “urge the Federal Government to urgently empanel a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate all cases of human rights abuse allegedly committed by the Police, the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in the course of discharging their duties with a view to identifying the culprits and victims and offering redress where necessary;

“Call on the Federal Government to demonstrate practical commitment to the observance of the rule of law especially in ensuring obedience to court orders and following due process in fulfillment of its constitutional obligation;

“Call on the Federal Government to take necessary measures and/or establish necessary structures to ensure that all constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens are protected and observed by its security and law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their responsibilities;

“Call on the Federal Government to desist from further violation of the sacred principle of separation of powers and adopt the rule of law as the guiding principle of government actions”.

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