The Presidency on Friday (yesterday) clarified that its officials were not being listed as witnesses to deliberately testify against the senate presiding officers and the two top National Assembly management officials in the ongoing trial in the case of forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2011.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, who made the clarification at press conference in Abuja, said top Presidency officials, including himself, were invited by the police as suspects in the matter and they only went to give testimony as demanded by the police.
Aside from Enang, 14 other Nigerians are already listed by the prosecutor as witnesses against the accused.
Enang observed that his clarification became necessary in view of the fact that there were “false publications and insinuations that Presidential Aides have been lined up against the presiding officers of the senate and others in the case.
The presidential aide also on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari tendered an unreserved apology to the Senate over the refusal of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami to honour a summon from the Senate.
The AGF was represented at the Thursday interactive session by Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Oblo who at the event insulted the Senators, saying they lacked constitutional power to summon the AGF.
The AGF was invited by the Senate to explain why he dragged the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and two others to court over alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Order.
Buhari’s Special Assistant on Public Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Oblo who is seconded to the office of the AGF appearing before the Senator David Umaru, APC Niger East led Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters had lampooned the Senate, saying that the Red Chambers lacked the powers to summon the Minister of Justice over a matter that was already in a competent court of law.
He told the Senate that the Presidency had no confidence on the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, as well.
However, Senator Enang said that there was no way the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice will not respect the Senators because the lawmakers screened and cleared the ministers as ministerial nominees.
Enang declaring how he came to be involved in the issue said his name was listed as a witness based on his position as the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business in the 7th Senate, which is saddled with the responsibility of amending the rule book.
“I was the chairman of the Rules and Business Committee of the 7th Senate which ended plenary on June 4, 2015 and the 8th Senate was inaugurated on June 9, 2015.
“That upon a written petition to the police on the subject of alleged forgery of the Standing Orders by some Distinguished Senators of the 8th Senate the lnspector General of Police through one D l G DIG Dan Azumi J. Doma wrote to the Clerk to the National Assembly vide his letter dated July 1, 2015.requestinq him to ask the under mentioned key officials of the 7th SENATE to have an audience with the under signed on or before 6th July 2015; Senate President, Deputy Senate President Majority Leader of the Senate, Clerk of the National Assembly, Clerk of Senate, CHAIRMAN‚BUSINESS AND RULES, Secretary, Business and Rules Committee.
“Further to the above, l, on July 3rd, 2015 met with the police who confronted me with allegation that I am suspected to have ammended or printed the Standing Orders in issue being the Chairman of Rules and Business committee of the 7th Senate.
“l was asked to make a written statement on the matter and I did on the said July 3rd 2015 denied the allegation, and it was from the statement of other persons of interest, after my statement that the police may have formed an apinion as to who did what, exonerating me.
“But (the police), rather, listed me as a witness as to the procedure for amendment, having made a statement on the matter.
“All these course of events occurred prior to and independent of my appointment as SSA to the President in late August 2015.
“I am not mentioned in the process as an aide in the presidency as wrongly misrepresented but as former Chairman of Rules and Business Committee of the defunct 7th Senate and l have not made any other statement in this matter subsequent to that made on July on 3, 2015”