Democracy-advocate, Femi Falana has advised the Ethics Committee of the Senate to withdraw its illegal summons on the Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar.
On Tuesday, the committee asked the chairman to appear before it on Thursday despite knowing he is supposed to be seating at the tribunal on that day in trial over Senate President Bukola Saraki.
Mr. Falana said in a public statement it was confirmed that the leadership of the Senate has resolved to frustrate the trial of Mr. Saraki, noting that only on Monday, the Tribunal ruled that the case would be conducted daily under the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 until concluded.
In a swift but contemptuous reaction to the ruling, he said, the Ethics Committee purportedly summoned the Tribunal Chairman to testify in respect of a petition alleging corrupt practices against him.
“Instead of exposing the Nigerian people to further undeserved embarrassment over the Saraki case the Senate is enjoined to enhance the fight against corruption by passing the Whistle Blowers Bill, the Proceeds of Crime Bill and the Witness Protection Bill which were passed by the 7th National Assembly but were not signed into law by former President GoodluckJonathan,” Mr. Falana said.
He advised that for the Nigerian people to take the war against corruption seriously, the members of the legislative and executive arms of Government ought to be prepared to demonstrate leadership by example, adding that given the majority of States are now owing arrears of salaries, the legislators should be prepared to make a sacrifice by reducing their fat salaries and jumbo allowances.
He pointed out that the Ethics Committee of the Senate lacks the power to summon the Tribunal Chairman to testify in respect of a criminal investigation, especially given that the allegation being examined by the committee is the subject matter of a pending criminal case at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Abuja.
Earlier on Tuesday, 28 civil society organizations promoting justice and good governance in Nigeria called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold his assent to a bill being hurried through the Senate to amend the law setting up the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the CCT, should it be passed.