A group of Sena­tors have initiated moves in the Up­per House to secure the re­lease of the detained leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
The Senators plan to in­voke the relevant orders and rules of the Senate to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mallam Abuba­kar Malami, to direct the im­mediate release of Kanu and Dasuki.
Their argument is that if Malami could order the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) not to honour the sum­mons of the Senate because of a court injunction, the Executive arm of government has no moral justification to disobey the court ruling on Kanu and Dasuki.
The first attempt by the leader of the Concerned Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume had on Tuesday last week alleged the importation of the vehicle by Saraki with fake documents.
Saraki, thereafter, mandat­ed the Senate Committee on Ethics and Public Petitions to investigate the matter.
The Senate spokesman, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi Sabi, told the media that the price of the vehicle as reported in the media was false and mis­chievous, and put the actual amount of the vehicle at N62.5 million.
Sabi said: “The reports in the media about the price of the vehicle which the Sen­ate was said to have bought as part of its convoy, but was lat­er abandoned when it got im­pounded by the Customs over controversy surrounding im­port duty payment, is false and mischievous.
“The correct price of the ve­hicle when it was imported in 2015 is $298,000 which at the prevailing rate of N165 to a dol­lar is about N49,170.”
“The Senate paid N62.5 million for the vehicle in No­vember 2015. This is contrary to the mischief by those who decided to turn the $298,000 to N298 million as the price of the vehicle. For the avoidance of doubt, the price of that ve­hicle is N62.5 million and not N298 million”.
Senators, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, to table the matter before the Senate ran into hitches last week follow­ing a point of order raised by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Senator Akpabio had ar­gued that it was out of order for Ohuabunwa to introduce an issue which had nothing to do with the debate on the refusal of Ali to appear be­fore the Senate.
Senator Ohuabunwa had in the contribution to the de­bate on Ali’s failure to appear before the Senate, asked the lawmakers to prevail on the AGF to advise President Mu­hammadu Buhari to free Kanu and Dasuki the same way Malami advised Ali to ignore the Senate’s invita­tion pending the determi­nation of a suit challenging his summons.
Ohuabunwa told jour­nalists in Abuja on Monday that the continued detention of Kanu and Dasuki despite court orders that the Feder­al Government should free them was a gross violation of the fundamental human rights of the two men.
He said that some con­cerned senators have de­cided to join other Nigeri­an leaders in asking for the release of Kanu and Dasuki.
Ohuabunwa said: “I still stand by my prayers last week on the floor of the Senate that the Attorney-General of the Federation should advise the President to release Kanu and Dasu­ki, the same way he advised the Customs chief to ignore the Senate’s invitation on the ground that the matter was in court.
“And as a senator of Fed­eral Republic of Nigeria, I believe that their continued detention is a disobedience of court order”.
Ohuabunwa, a former Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representa­tives, said he was discussing the matter with some sena­tors to formally draw the at­tention of the Senate to the continued detention of Kanu and Dasuki.
“We should have respect for the rule of law and I sup­port the call for the immedi­ate release of Kanu,” he said.
The AUTHORITY re­calls that the Federal High Court had, on December 17, 2015, ruled on the appli­cation by Kanu.
Ohuabunwa said that in the verdict, “a sacred order was solemnly pronounced against the DSS to the ef­fect that Kanu should be re­leased unconditionally, hav­ing been admitted to bail.” - The Authority