NASS Crisis: Why Alleged Senate Rules Forgery Cannot Stand – Sen. Umaru

david umarThe senator representing Niger East senatorial district, Barr. David Umaru, has dismissed the allegation of forgery of the Senate Standing Order against the clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa and the Senate leadership as unnecessary fuss which cannot stand.
According to Sen. Umaru, there was no genuine document from which a forged one could be produced, arguing that it was not possible to determine that the 2015 Senate Rules was forged when the 2011 Senate Rules which was supposed to form the basis for comparison no longer existed.
He was reacting to media speculations that the report of the probe by the police confirmed that the Standing Rules used to inaugurate the 8th National Assembly was forged.
In a statement he issued yesterday, Umaru, who was elected on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, and is a constitutional lawyer, argued that it had always been the practice of the Senate that at the expiration of the four-year life span of a legislative assembly, the rules elapse and new rules are used to govern the activities of the incoming legislature.
He said, “While the 2011 standing rules provides for the procedure for amendment of the 2011 Standing Order, it is silent on the revision of the new standing order for the incoming Legislature.
“That is to say that any procedure of amendment stated in the 2011 standing order is limited to the life span of that Legislature and does not in any way affect the regulation of activities for the incoming Legislature”.
Umaru said common reasoning required that where there is a lacuna, the management of the National Assembly under the chairmanship of the Clerk takes responsibility constitutionally to provide new rules in the absence of a Senate President to avoid any vacuum.
He said, “In consequence, it behoves on the clerk to provide the rules and regulations that would govern the incoming Legislature which may be subject to amendment as provided in Rule 110 of the 2015 Senate Standing Orders.
“From the foregoing, it could be validly concluded that a case of forgery cannot stand in the circumstance. This is because the facts in this matter cannot sustain an offence of forgery under Section 362 of the Penal Code Act quoted above. All the essential elements required to prove the offence are absent”.