Arrest Of Judges: Senate Queries Powers Of DSS
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October 11, 2016 ( Post 1 )
The Senate on Tuesday described the arrest of some judges last weekend as ultra vires and abuse of powers by virtue of Acts empowering them.
Mover of the motion under matters of urgent national interest, Senator Joshua Lidani, in his outright condemnation of the arrest, argued that the corruption allegations against the judges ought to have been handled by the Nigeria Police which has the mandate to do so.
He pointed that the National Security Agencies Act, 2000 in its several provisions dealt with internal security.
“Mr. Senate President, distinguished colleagues, NSA Act 2000, section 2 specifies the responsibility of Department of State Security Services, DSS, with prevention and detection of internal insecurity,”Lidani stated.
He reminded the Senate that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmoud Muhammed, through National Judicial Council, which is an administrative set up charged with disciplinary powers, has dismissed some corrupt members of the bench in the past.
Lidani also reasoned that the arrest has tempered with the independence of the judiciary.
In his contribution, Dino Melaye, APC Kogi West, noted that it was “celestial truth” of massive corruption in the judiciary which was very clear to any sensible persons, but condemned the mode with which the arrest happened.
Senator Bala Ibn’N’allah, on his part, harped on the philosophy behind the establishment of National Judicial Council, which is for the Judiciary not be subjected to external audit.
Pointing out that Nigerians are behind the fight against corruption, he stated that the Senate should not hurriedly condemned the action until the Upper Chamber had heard from the DG of DSS.
“Mr. President, looking at the situation of Nigeria before 2015 was the issue of corruption and Nigeria are firm in supporting the fight against corruption and we have to hear from the Director General of DSS first before condemnation,” he said.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki reiterated the determination of the Senate to support the fight against corruption.
Meanwhile, efforts by those who wanted the Senate to summon the DSS DG failed.
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