House of Assembly Speakers accuse courts of frustrating probes

  The Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria has accused courts in the country of frustrating legislative probes of bribery and corruption cases.

It has therefore called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen; and the National Judicial Council to check the excesses of the courts.

 The group also urged the police to desist from invading state Houses of Assembly.

 The conference’s Chairman and Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.

Obasa said the decisions were reached at the end of the Third Quarter General Meeting of the conference which held between December 7 and 8, in Maiduguri, Borno State capital.

 He said the conference had set up a reconciliatory committee to resolve the crises in some state Houses of Assembly in the country.

 He said the conference’s intervention was hinged on the need to “not only ensure amicable resolution of the crises, but also ensure good governance.”

 He added, “The conference regrets that the judiciary is fast becoming a clog in the advancement of our democracy and strongly decries a wave of recent judgments undemocratically preventing state assemblies from performing their constitutionally-guaranteed functions of oversight of the executive arm of government relating to cases of bribery and corruption.

 “We call on the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the National Judicial Council to check this trend before judges truncate our democracy.”

 The conference called on the police to be more professional in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities by desisting from invading and occupying state legislative houses in the country.

“The conference sees the frequent unprovoked invasions of the legislative houses by the police as unprofessional, detrimental and the action runs contrary to the entrenchment of democratic values and culture,” the communique added.
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