– The Senate has decried the ‘gestapo-style’ raid and arrest of judges at the weekend by the DSS
– All senators jointly condemned the action as abominable even as they pledged support for the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari
– The Senate is now investigating the matter through its Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights & Legal Matters which will submit its report in four weeks
The Senate on Tuesday, October 11 launched a probe into the raid of the homes of judges by the Department of State Service (DSS) at the weekend in a strong to reaction to the event that shocked many Nigerians.
Senate president Bukola Saraki announced the investigation during a session of the upper chamber of legislature on Tuesday.
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The Senate began proceedings with an executive session which went on for several minutes. Although Saraki announced after taking his seat that the session was just about the current economic recession, the House went straight to the issue of the DSS raid.
After recommendations from senators, Saraki referred the matter to the Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights & Legal Matters. The committee is charged with investigating the matter and to return with its findings in four weeks.
Senators from both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unanimously condemned the actions of the DSS, saying that its action was an affront to democracy and contravenes the rule of law.
PDP senator Joshua Lidani raised a point of order and voiced his concerns over the unlawful arrests of Judges by the official of the DSS. He expressed full support of the senate in the fight against corruption but decried the unlawful approach adopted by the DSS.
“The fight against corruption should be done within the confines of the Law.
“The senate supports the fight against corruption but with strict observance to the principles of separation of power” Lidani said.
APC senator Dino Melaye agreed and seconded Lidani’s motion.
“It is a misnomer, it is absurd for the directorate of the SSS to operate outside their mandate.
“These are not allegations of rape,terrorism or crime,they are allegations of professional misconduct” – @dino_melaye
“I acknowledge the existence of corruption in the judiciary but the DSS overstepped and abused their boundaries” Melaye said.
“National Assembly must stress clearly & call relevant agencies to remain within the mandate provided by the law,” says APC senator Suleiman Hunkuyi. “National Assembly cannot provide the rule with one hand and collect it with the other hand.”
He added that “every agency must operate within the confines of the law.”
PDP senator Chukwuka Utazi said: “The very principle of democracy that we are supposed to espouse cannot be achieved with the way we are doing it.
Deputy senate leader Bala N’allah of the APC also slammed the DSS raid.
He said: “What will the International Community think of us with with our gestapo approach. The act cannot be rationalized, the world is watching the senate, we must rise & stand for Justice.
“We have exhibited ways to fight corruption despite attempts to rubbish the institution. The way we handle this matter will determine how the public view this senate I condemn this action.”
Senate minority leader Godswill Akpabio was also not thrilled by the DSS’s actions.
He said: “The senate is made up of erudite people Nigerians believe in us, we must see things from both sides.
“The senate supports @MBuhari in his corruption fight but we must look at the image of the country and do things right.”
On his part, Saraki acknowledged that the judiciary needs to be sanitized but condemns the unlawful mode of arrest.
He said: “National Assembly has been playing it’s role to support other arms of government in its fight against corruption.
“The senate supports the fight against corruption especially in the judiciary.
“Any anti-corruption action that goes against the rule of law does not help the fight against corruption.”
Meanwhile, the DSS has released the arrested judges on bail based on personal recognition.
Source : Naij.comNaij.com