The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr Danladi Umar, has dragged the Senate to court.
The judge was alleged to have assaulted one Clement Sargwak in March this year at a shopping plaza in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Also included in the suit as stated in the originating summons dated 13th July 2021 are the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions as well as the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Danladi in the suit with file no FHC/ABJ/ CS/671/2021 is challenging the “Senate’s constitutional power to conduct Investigation and purpose for which it is exercisable.”
Specifically, the embattled CCT chairman is asking the court to interprete the constitutional powers granted the Senate or House Committees on Ethics and Public Petitions whether it covers public assaults, which as averred by his attorneys, are part of the constitutional functions of the Police and the Courts of Law.
Copies of the originating summons and suit signed by Sunday Edward (ESQ) and other Attorneys from Abuka and Partners on behalf of Danladi Umar, listed him as the plaintiff.
The document also listed the Senate, the President of the Senate, Senate’s Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, and the Attorney-General of the Federation as defendants.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, made copies of Umar’s originating summons available to journalists on Friday.
Umar asked the Court to interprete the powers of the four defendants to investigate the case of assault in question.
In the summons, the Judge asked the court to determine among others:
” Whether the purported case of assault which allegedly took place at Banex Plaza
on 29th March 2021, forms part of the matters the 1st defendant is constitutionally empowered to investigate
“Whether the 1st defendant and its Committee, that is, the third defendant, are competent to investigate and/or invite the plaintiff in relation to the investigation of the allegation of assault levelled against him.
“Whether the powers of the 1st defendant to conduct investigation are not by and/or subject to provisions of sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and are not exercisable for the purposes of making law and exposing corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution of administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by the 1st defendant, and
” Whether the 1st defendant’s move to conduct an investigative hearing on the petition before it is not unconstitutional and does not amount to an unwarranted usurpation of the functions of the Police and of the Courts of competent jurisdiction”.
Danladi then asked the Court to stop the Senate from conducting a further investigative hearing, as the alleged victim (Clement Sargwak), had been sued.
Part of the summons read, “We write to inform you that the case between our client and Clement Sargwak is now before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory ( suit no FCT /HC/ CV/ 1544/2021 Mr Danladi Umar vs Clement Sargwak).
” Tthe issue as to whether or not Clement Sargwak had discontinued and/or withdrawn his petition before your Honourable Committee is equally sub judice.
” We trust that Senate, as the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, will respect due process and refrain from delving into a matter that is before a court of competent jurisdiction.”
The CCT Chairman was allegedly seen in a viral video, allegedly assaulting one Clement Sagwak at the Bannex Plaza in Wuse 2, on March 29, 2021.
In seeking redress, the victim, filed a petition against Umar through his lawyers to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition to investigate.
Though the embattled CCT Chairman had on invitation, appeared before the committee once but shunned several other invitations thereafter.
He informed the members through his attorneys last week Tuesday that he was already in court against the investigation.
The panel kicked against his position and ordered him to appear before it unfailingly on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, or risk issuance of a warrant of arrest on him.
But after receiving the originating summons slammed on the Committee and suit filed against Sargwak by Umar, the Commitee Chairman, lamented that the hunted is turning to be the hunter.
Akinyelure said with the court summons, it was clear that Umar would not appear before his committee next week Tuesday.
He, however, said the Judge’s action would be challenged in the court by the legal department of the National Assembly since no arm of government is empowered to stop another, from carrying out its constitutional duties or functions.
Akinyelure said, ” Investigation on the assault meted out to a fellow Nigerian by the CCT Chairman had already commenced before he ran to court but his move will also be challenged by the legal department of the Senate.
“He may not come, but the Committee will still have a session on the matter and other petitions before it next week Tuesday.”
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