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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Court Rejects Malami’s Motion To Stop Probe Of Maina’s Recall


The ex parte motion filed by Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, to stop the national assembly from probing the recall of Abdulrasheed Maina has been stuck out by a federal high court sitting in Abuja.

Online newspaper, TheCable had reported the suit filed by Malami in what was understood to be an attempt to stop the decision of the senate to conduct a forensic probe of the affair.

Maina, former chairman of the presidential task force on pension reforms, was recalled and deployed to the ministry of interior under controversial circumstances.

On Monday, Binta Murtala Nyako heard Malami’s application in chambers and turned it down.

She ordered the applicant to put the national assembly on notice as there was no urgency to grant an ex parte motion.

The motion on notice will now be heard on January 15.

On October 24, the senate mandated its committees on public service, internal affairs, anti-corruption, establishment and judiciary to probe the circumstances of Maina’s return to the country and the public service.

But Malami has asked the court to determine if the national assembly has the right to probe issues relating to the “employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant”.

According to documents, the attorney-general is asking the court to among other things declare that “the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant are matters outside the exclusive and concurrent legislative lists contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“That the National Assembly cannot legitimately regulate the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant, which are matters exclusively within the purview of the Federal Civil Service Commission under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria1999 (as amended).

“The National Assembly lacks the legislative competence to investigate the employment, attendance at work, disengagement, reinstatement and or promotion of a civil servant which are matters exclusively within the purview of the Federal Civil Service Commission under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria1999 (as amended).

“The power of investigation vested the National Assembly by section 88 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is limited and such that can only be exercised within the confines of Section 88 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“The plaintiff as the chief law officer and minister of justice of the federation is bound to ensure compliance by the Federal Government of Nigeria and or any of its cognate organs/agencies with the express or implied contents of extant Judgements and Orders of competent courts in Nigeria.

“The defendant cannot constitute itself into a quasi-appellate court, tribunal or panel with a view to reviewing any executive action taken in compliance with the adverse judgment in the said Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/65/2013.”

The house of representatives is also probing Maina’s recall.

When he appeared before the panel of the lower legislative chamber in November, Malami denied his involvement in Maina’s recall.

He also accused federal lawmakers of being part of pension fraud.

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