Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Itse Sagay Writes To Nigerian Senate - You 'cannot be the accuser, prosecutor, and judge'

Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has written to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asking him to withdraw the Senate resolution summoning him to appear before it.

In the letter dated 3 April, Mr. Sagay said his criticism of the Senate was founded on Section 171(1) of the Constitution, which gives power to the President to appoint any person to hold or act in the office of the head of any extra-ministerial department of the Federal Government.

“As you are no doubt aware, Section 88 of the Constitution, under which you have purportedly summoned me, is subject to other provisions of the Constitution, including Section 39 thereof. In other words, my freedom of expression cannot be abridged or violated in the course of exercising the oversight functions of the Senate,” wrote Mr. Sagay.

He cited a few precedents and concluded by writing, “Senate cannot be the accuser, prosecutor, and judge in its own case. However, any aggrieved member of the Senate has the liberty to sue me for defamation in a competent court of jurisdiction. Consequently, I urge you to withdraw the resolution summoning me to appear before the Senate. If you fail to accede to my request I will not hesitate to challenge the legal validity of the summons, once it is served on me.''

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