by Dolapo Adelana
The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, has said the Senate had no constitutional power to summon him.
Sagay had described the Senate’s decision to suspend the confirmation hearing of INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) as childish, saying they would regret their attempt to threaten President Muhammadu Buhari.
Following his statement, the Senate on Wednesday summoned Sagay to appear before it to explain himself.
But reacting to the Senate summons in an interview with Premium Times, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria and law professor said, “They have no power or authority to summon me. I am not in the category of persons they can summon.”
“They ought to know that I do not come within the category of persons they can summon,” said Sagay.
“I would advise them to tell their lawyers to check the Sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution. Through that, they will know I don’t come within that category.”
“They don’t have authority to summon me. I am outside the group of persons they can summon. I am not a civil servant, I don’t belong to any commission or any…”
The parts of the Constitution cited by Sagay empowers the Senate or House of Representatives to direct investigation into the conduct of affairs of ‘any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for executing or administering laws enacted by the National Assembly.’
The law further provides that such shall only be exercised by the National Assembly for the purpose of making laws ‘within its legislative competence’; amending laws; and exposing “corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated for it.”
Then, Section 89 establishes ways by which the National Assembly can enforce Section 88 paraphrased above.
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When asked if his position as the chairman of the presidential anti-graft committee does not fall within the category mentioned in Section 88 of the Constitution, Sagay said, “That’s why I said they should look at the Constitution. My work comes totally outside of their power.
“I’m not going to give those details now; but if they are foolish enough to insist on my coming, at the appropriate time and at appropriate venue, all the details will come out
“But now let just make a general statement: they have no power or authority to summon me. Period!”