4NAIJA: NASS crisis: Police confirms Senate forgery

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Sunday, 26 July 2015

NASS crisis: Police confirms Senate forgery

Finally, the senate standing order used by the 8th Assembly to inaugurate senate president, Bukola Saraki and deputy senate president, Ike Ekweremadu on June 9 was forged.

The Nigeria Police have concluded their probe into the forgery of the Senate Standing Order and given a copy of the report to President Muhammadu Buhari last week.

The Police report confirmed that the Standing Rules used to inaugurate the 8th Assembly were forged.

According to a source, in the report, the Police recommended the prosecution of those found culpable of forging the orders adding that it have indicted the management of the National Assembly, especially the Clerk, Salisu Maikasuwa and recommended the prosecution of the suspects.

Acting on a petition by Sulaiman Hunkuyi (All Progressives Congress, Kaduna State), the Police had on July 6 quizzed Ekweremadu and Maikasuwa over an alleged forgery of the standing orders.

The petition also led to the quizzing of the leadership of the 7th Senate, including former Senate President, David Mark; Ike Ekweremadu; former Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba; and the former Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business,  Ita Enang.

According to the source the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, handed over copy of the investigative report to Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja last Sunday.

“I can confirm to you that the President has a copy of the Police’s investigation report on the Senate forgery and I can also authoritatively tell you that the report confirmed that the Senate rules were forged. Notable among those recommended for prosecution in the National Assembly is the Clerk because he is the one that keeps the Standing Orders,” the source said.

The study of the controversial 2015 Senate Standing Orders, Rule 3, as contained on page four of the document, which has to do with the election of presiding officers, had shown that it is different from the 2011 Senate Order.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business in 7th Senate, Ita Enang, stated that the Standing Orders that was used and closed within the 7th Senate was the Standing Orders that should have been used for the inauguration of the 8th Senate.

“I made proposal for amendments between 2011 and 2015, I laid the report on the floor, but we did not consider the report. We did not amend the Standing Orders.

“Before we left, I had approved the reprinting of the Standing Orders and the reprinting did not include inserting anything which was not in the old one. Reprinting is, simply reproduce what we have because there are no more copies,” he said.

Speaking on the recent development, some senior legal practitioners had said that forging a document like the Standing Rule of the Senate was a felony, which is a criminal offence against the state that attracts a penalty of three years jail term, a fine or both.

But the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, when contacted on the subject matter did not confirm if the President had received a copy of the report.

“The Police are still working on the report. Investigation is still going on,” he said.

Director (Information), Federal Ministry of Justice,  Charles Nwodo also said he was not aware of the if the DPP had received a copy of the report.

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