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Published On: Mon, Jun 30th, 2014

Makarfi slams judiciary for barring Diezani probe

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By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Ahmed Makarfi, has condemned the recent injunction given by an Abuja High Court, which has restricted the House of Representatives from investigating the alleged N10 billion spent on maintaining a private jet by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Makarfi, who is former Governor of Kaduna state, said the judiciary has no power to middle in the activities of the Nigerian parliament.

“I think it was wrong for any court to stop the National Assembly from legislating or investigation. The National Assembly cannot stop any court from trying any case before it. Equally, the court should not interfere in the operations of the National Assembly to make laws or to investigate any matter”, he said.

While explaining that the lawmakers should not be prevented from investigating any fraud allegation, Makarfi said, “The court can find faults at the end of the day.

“If a legislation is unconstitutional, the court has the power to annul such a legislation. Or if an investigation was biased, and someone proves before the court that he was not given a fair hearing, that is a post-investigative issue and not a pre-investigation.

“I think the heads of the judiciary and the heads of the legislature should really talk to each other and streamline so that we adopt a code of conduct that is good for the Judiciary, good for the Legislature, good for democracy and good for this country”, he posited.

Meanwhile, speaking on the terrorism in the North-East, he said only responsible leadership by the governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States could end the lingering Boko Haram insurgency in the zone and the country at large.

He admonished the governors not to play politics with the security problem in Nigeria if the battle against the challenge must be won by the government.

Speaking further, he lamented that the current terrorism in the country was the most dangerous and worrisome security challenge amongst all the vices confronting Nigeria at the moment.

He also cautioned the governors to watch what they say and do, and how they move, arguing that their body language have a lot of influence on the perception of the people about whether or not they are fueling the crisis or sincerely tackling the problem.

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