The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase on Monday told the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that it lacked powers to stop the police from carrying out investigation into the alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Order 2015 (as amended).
He further submitted that the police have not taken sides on the issue.
The position of the IG was contained in a counter- affidavit deposed to by Joshua Yohanna of the Legal/Prosecution Department, Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department (FCIID) to a suit filed by Senator Gilbert Nnaji representing Enugu East on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking to stop the police from investigating the alleged forgery.
The police boss, who is one of the defendants in the suit, also submitted that investigating the allegation of forgery in the Senate can only strengthen the integrity of the upper legislative house and its leadership.
He further stated that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu or any other Nigerian citizen has no immunity over criminal investigations.
The affidavit reads: “The present Senate has not enacted any standing orders yet. As at the time of inauguration of this present Senate, no standing orders had been made.
Till date, no such standing orders have so far been made. “The practice is that at inauguration, the incoming Senate uses the standing orders of the preceding Senate.
The immediate past Senate did not amend the 2011 standing orders and the 2011 standing orders have not yet been amended.” The police also averred that the plaintiff cannot prove that the so-called 2015 standing orders were passed by the preceding Senate. It also averred that the so-called 2015 standing orders were never made nor passed by the immediate past Senate.
The plaintiff knows that the present Senate President was not in a position to have passed the 2015 Senate Standing Orders before his inauguration. “The plaintiff knows that it is only after inauguration that the current Senate could pass the Senate Standing Orders.
That what he is bandying about is not an authorised Senate Standing Order.” The police, however, prayed the court to throw out the suit as it is merely of a nuisance value. In a similar vein, the Secretary of the Senate Unity Forum, who signed the petition to the police, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi has applied to be joined in the suit filed by Nnaji as an interested party.
His motion dated August 3 was filed by his counsel, Mamman Osuman (SAN) pursuant to orders 9 rule 15 ; order 26 rule 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the Federal High Court [Civil Procedure] rules 2009. In his ruling, the trial judge,
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, refused to make an order for status quo to be maintained but however adjourned proceedings to August 8.