Stop misinterpreting what we do in Senate – Saraki warns critics


Nigerian Senate on Tuesday warned critics to stop misinterpreting its Bills and resolutions.

President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, gave the warning at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters in Abuja.

The Bills are the Legal Practitioners Act (Amendment) Bill 2018, Data Protection Bill and Facial Mutilation Prohibition Bill.

Saraki, represented by Deputy Senate Leader, Sen. Bala Na’Allah, said it was unfortunate that such critics were never present at legislative public hearing for the needed cross-fertilisation of ideas.

“No particular position has been taken in respect of these bills.

“The reason why relevant stakeholders in their areas of focus were invited but unfortunately ardent critics of laws made by us are not here to make their inputs.

“These critics are no doubt, roadside appeal, and Supreme Court misinterpreting our laws and by extension, turning National Assembly decision upside down as being experienced with one of the bills recently passed and being litigated against.

“Our appeal to these critics is to stop misinterpreting our laws and make themselves available at the public hearing stages of passing such Bills,’’ he said.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, was represented by an official of the Ministry of Justice, Yusuf Abdullahi, who said Malami was in court in respect of litigation against Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018.

He said the ministry had a contrary view on the intendment of the Legal Practitioners Act (Amendment) Bill.

But, President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), said proposed amendments to the Act were very necessary in view of the fact it was archaic, having been enacted in 1962.

“The move by the Senate to amend the Legal Practitioners Act through an amendment bill is a welcome development because to us, that will help in bringing needed reforms for the review of regulation of legal profession,’’ he said.


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