ABDULRASHEED BAWA: Senate Won’t Join Issues with Lawyer Seeking to Stop Confirmation
The Nigerian Senate has said it would not comment on the suit filed by a lawyer to restrain it from screening and confirming Abdulrasheed Bawa for appointment as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Chairman of the Senate committee on media and public affairs, Senator Surajudeen Ajibola Basiru, was quoted to have said the upper chamber would not join issues with the plaintiff in the media, since doing so would be subjudice as the matter was already before a court of competent jurisdiction.
He said that the Senate would not do anything that would undermine judicial authority by engaging in public discuss on a matter already pending before a court.
Basiru also said “the question the court would even first determine is whether the case itself is not premature having regards to the fact that no decision has even been taken. The issue is whether the court can restrain the exercise, one way or the other, of the powers by the National Assembly and whether that would also not be against the principle of Separation of Power in view of the decision in the case of Adesanya versus Shagari in the Second Republic.
But we can’t go into the substance of the allegation but the constitutional issues that we think it raises is whether you can restrain the National Assembly from exercising its duties conferred by the constitution.
“And then whether it is not even premature to be talking about that when the duty has not even been performed one way or the other. But for that we can’t be joining issues in the media as to the legality of the exercise of our constitutional responsibilities.
“We cannot go into the details of what he has taken to court because it would be subjudice but what comes to our mind is whether it would not be against the Principle of Separation of Power for the court to be invited to restrain the National Assembly or the Senate from performing its constitutionally assigned responsibilities. And whether it is not even premature having regard to the fact that the constitutional responsibility has not been exercised.
“But in terms of the substance of his allegations or what he has taken to court, we don’t want to say what is prejudice but we know most at times, some of those cases are usually litigated more for publicity rather than the substance of the case. And we don’t want to do anything that would undermine judicial authority by going to the public to be joining issues on the substance of his allegations.”
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