Mr. Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has ordered the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Diri and the Police to proceed with charges against suspects, who allegedly forged the Senate Standing Orders used for the proclamation of the current 8th Senate.
The Senate Standing Orders 2015 alleged to be a forged version of the 2011 version, was used for the leadership election of the Senate, which produced Dr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President and Ike Ekweremadu as his deputy, shortly after the 8th Senate was proclaimed on June 9, 2015.
Punch reports that Malami called for the file on the case last week and found out that the ministry had since July 29, 2015, some months before his appointment, recommended the prosecution of the yet-to-be-identified suspects.
The suspects, it was gathered, would be charged with criminal conspiracy, forgery, breach of official trust and unlawful assembly said to have contravened various provisions of Penal Code.
Punch had reported that the legal advice, addressed to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Criminal Investigation Department of the Force Headquarters, Dan’Azumi Doma, was received by the recipient’s office on July 29, 2015, the same date it was issued by the DPP.
The document showed that it was issued in response to the report of police investigation, with reference number CB: 3514/XFQ/ABJ/Vol./23/17, which was sent to the Ministry of Justice by Doma, quoting the number given to the case by the police as FHQ/X/ABJ/SEB/365/2015.
The legal advice issued by the Federal Ministry of Justice with reference number, DPPA/ADV/258/15, recommended that some suspects, whom the police refused to name in their investigative report, should be prosecuted.
The legal opinion, which analysed the evidence thrown up by the police investigation, had indicated that the “leadership election, based on the forged document, cannot stand and it is null and void”.
The legal advice added, “Further investigation should reveal:
“Who authorised the promulgation of the Senate Standing Order 2015?
“Who published the Senate Standing Order 2015?
“Who approved the Senate Standing Order 2015?
“Who paid for the publishing of the Senate Standing Order 2015? and
“Who distributed the Senate Standing Order 2015?”
The police had investigated the alleged forgery of the Senate Orders following a petition by Senator Sulaiman Hunkuyi of the All Progressives Congress from Kaduna State. The petition had alleged that some parts of the 2015 Senate Order were different from the one ratified by the 6th Senate and was used by the 7th Senate, as Standing Orders 2011.
The police had, during their investigation on July 6, questioned some members of the 7th and the 8th Senate as well as some management employees of the Senate, including the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa.
The police report, however, failed to indict any particular person and also did not recommend anybody for prosecution.