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 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.”
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