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Judges house raid: Reps threaten arrest warrant against AGF

House of Representatives on Thursday threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, over his failure to appear before House ad hoc committee investigating raid of houses of judicial officers.

The chairman, House Ad-hoc Committee on investigation of all cases of invasion of property and arrest of persons for reasons outside the general duties of the State Security Services as prescribed by the National Securities Act, since 29th May, 2015, Honourable Garba Datti said warrant of arrest would be issued on the AGF if he failed to appear before the Committee on November 29.

A visibly angry chairman of the committee frowned at the continuous non appearance of the AGF to answer or clarify issues whenever invited by committees of the House, saying such action was disturbing.

While issuing warning to the AGF, he said that, “the only area we are having problem is the AGF who is the Chief law officer. We sent letters to him, no answer and no memorandum from him. Before the public hearing, we had summoned him even today (Thursday), he did not appear or sent any representation”.

Speaking further, he said, “This Committee is disturbed by the non appearance of the AGF. We have given him the opportunity to appear on Tuesday 29th November, failure of which this Committee will invoke all the relevant laws that give us power for arrest.”

Earlier, the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, ICPC, Nta  Ekpo who appeared before the committee said that the operatives of the DSS, were empowered by SSS Instrument No. 1 of 1999, similar powers of arrest vested on officers of the Nigerian Police Force.

He said Section 3(1) of the SSS instrument I of 1999 provides that: “For the purpose of facilitating the discharge of its functions under these instrument, personnel of the State Security Services are hereby conferred with the powers of Superior Police officer in respect of searches and
arrest.”

“Likewise, section 3 (2b) of the SSS Instrument I of 1999 provides that in the execution of its functions set out in the Instrument, the SSS shall have power to impound and keep in its custody the passports or any other property of persons or organizations under investigation if considered appropriate by the Director-General.”

Also, the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, represented by an Assistant Director from the prosecution unit of the commission, Mr. Johnson Ojogbane  said that ” EFCC was not involved in that wee hours operation. We have been investigating some judges and our modus operandi have been painstaking.”