Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Chairman Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) has threatened to sue the Senate over the resolution to summon him by the upper chamber over his comment.
The Senator Samuel Anyanwu led-Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee had summoned Sagay before it over his alleged rude comment about the senators.
Sagay’s threat was contained in a letter he wrote to Senate President Bukola Saraki, dated April 3 in which he said Section 88 of the Constitution under which the Senate purportedly summoned him is subject to other provisions of the Constitution, including Section 39, which guarantees freedom of expression.
Sagay wrote, “The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provision of this section (88) are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to – (a) make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and (b) expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.
“From the foregoing, you will agree with me that the enormous investigative powers of the National Assembly are circumscribed as they are exercisable subject to other provisions of the Constitution.
“…Applying the principle of law enunciated in the above cited cases, I am fortified in my submission that the Senate lacks the constitutional power to summon me to justify my condemnation of the illegal actions of its members. Senate cannot be accuser, prosecutor and judge in its own cause.
“However, any aggrieved member of the Senate has the liberty to sue me for defamation in a competent court of jurisdiction.
“Consequently, I urge you to withdraw the resolution summoning me to appear before the Senate.
“If you fail to accede to my request, I will not hesitate to challenge the legal validity of the summons, once it is served on me.”