NASS lacks power to probe criminal cases – Court

A Federal High Court in Abuja says the National Assembly lacks powers to investigate criminal allegations, indict or absolve anyone of crime.

In a ruling on Tuesday, Gabriel Kolawole, a judge, declared as null and void the practice of the National Assembly to investigate criminal allegations involving individuals.

Kolawaole said law enforcement agents or the executive had the powers to handle such issues, an online news medium, The Cable, reported on Wednesday.

The case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/163/2009 was filed by Festus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, against the House of Representatives.

Keyamo’s legal action was propelled by the silence of the House of Representatives over a news story in a national newspaper in 2008, which indicted the leadership of the House in a shady car deal of 380 units of Peugeot automobile.

A former Speaker of the House, Dimeji Bankole, reportedly responded to Keyamo’s letter demanding an open response to the allegations and referred the matter to The House Committee on Ethics and Privileges.

In its recommendation, the committee faulted Keyamo’s letter, saying the allegations were baseless, while the Speaker was absolved of any wrongdoing.

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