Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, has defended the decision of the lower legislative chamber to probe the presidential investigation panel on the recovery of public property.
He said the lawmakers decided to probe the panel to ascertain where it got the power to investigate public officers.
Speaking at a public hearing on the legality and modus operandi of the panel, Dogara said the panel is not backed by the constitution to perform such roles.
He said while it is the responsibility of the judiciary to give a final interpretation on the legality or otherwise of any question of law, it is also the constitutional responsibility of the national assembly to make laws or to address defects in any existing law.
“This investigation is further strengthened by the confusion of roles which has been identified by the executive branch itself,” he said.
“It is public knowledge that the attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, had waded into these matters in a letter titled, ‘Re: Directive in respect of Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, chairman of the special investigation panel on the recovery of public property’, which has not been denied.”
He quoted Malami as saying Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo “expressed his concerns on the activities of the panel which runs contrary to the enabling Act establishing it (and which) runs foul or contrary to established administrative procedures and protocols in the federal civil service structure”.
The speaker said while it is important to tackle the corruption with renewed vigour, “we must, however, be conscious of doing things and implementing our laws in such ways and manner that will portray us as a democratic society conscious of the rule of law and fundamental human rights.”