Legal Nigeria

Court summons IGP over probe of Senate Rules

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court has summoned the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase to appear before him on August 4 over the controversial Senate Standing Order 2015.
He is to explain to the court why he should not be restrained from taking any further action or issuing any report in connection with what the litigant termed “the devious and malicious petition of the Senate Unity Forum”, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit seeking to preserve the independence of the National Assembly.
Ruling on an exparte application by Senator Gilbert Nnaji, Justice Kolawole noted  “Whilst one may find the involvement of the first Defendant (IGP) being an agent of the executive arm of government dabbling, albeit on an invitation of certain members of the senate, into the internal affairs of the Senate a little bit worrisome, the court is a bit wary on an ex parte proceeding, to allow the Plaintiff to have his day in court”
Drawing reference to the fundamental principles of separation of powers, Justice Kolawole said “courts are not created or established to supervise the National Assembly in the way and manner it will run its own constitutional duties except where its acts, as I had earlier remarked, border on a substantial infraction of the Constitution, which goes beyond its own internal “rules” of procedure or application of its “standing
“The only legitimate order I should grant, is to order the defendants, the first defendants (IGP) in particular, as there is no sitting Attorney-General of the Federation within the provisions of Section 150(1) of the Constitution, to attend the court on the return date for the hearing of the plaintiff’s motion on notice dated July 23, 2015 and to show cause why the orders being sought by the plaintiff (Senator Gilbert Nnaji), probably to preserve the sanctity and independence of the National Assembly, the Senate in particular, pending the hearing and determination of the Plaintiff’s Motion on Notice dated July 13, 2015 should not be granted”.
The court, however, warned that “where the first Defendant conducts its investigation and prepared its report, it is still within the judicial powers of this court pursuant to Section 6(6)(a) of the Constitution to take a decision to set aside such report where the Court was of the view that it was prepared in defiance of the proceedings of the Court, which the Defendants are already aware of its pendency at the time the first defendant may prepare its report”
-The Sun