Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, has said that the Senate and National Assembly in general was not aware of the freezing of the bank accounts of some youth leaders over their participation in the recent #End SARS protests in the country.
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has last week granted the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the nod to freeze accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters.
The order followed an ex-parte order the apex bank filed through a team of lawyers led by a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, SAN.
But Bamidele told journalists yesterday after the 2021 budget defence of the Federal Ministry of Justice that his committee first learnt of the action reportedly carried out by the federal government through the media.
He, however, promised that the legislature would liaise with the executive arm of government with a view to resolving the matter amicably.
“We read it in the news like every one of us. Our committee is also interested in knowing what is going on in this regard. As it is, our committee is neither in a position to either explain or defend.
“We will reach out to the executive. And if it is true what the stakeholders in charge are trying to achieve with this,” he said.
Bamidele also declared that the committee was unaware of the recent arrest and imprisonment of six Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates, UAE over allegations of sponsoring the terror group Boko Haram.
This he explained will be investigated by the committee with a view to understanding the true position of things.
The chairman further disclosed that the upper legislative chamber is working with the relevant committee of the House of Representatives on the amount earmarked for the prosecution of Boko Haram suspects.
“These are some of the issues before us as a committee. It’s not just the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters; the House Committee on Justice is also working with us on this matter,” he said.
He stressed that the Senate Committee will scrutinize the 2021 budget of the judiciary so as to “get justification for what they are proposing for 2021 even to the last kobo.”
“That is the whole essence of this matter. They come and they’ve made their presentation and we are interested in how the money appropriated last year was spent even to the last kobo.
“Part of the reason you saw that we couldn’t conclude the Attorney General is because there is a need for more engagements.
“There’s a need for further explanation and documentation on the figures that we have before us. It will be premature to make any statement or come to any conclusion,” Bamidele stressed.
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