“The answer is simple, he influenced his wife adding that this is an act of corruption.The lawmaker is a confession of an irregular act that is subject to be investigated and prosecuted”
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Tuesday approved the arrest of Sen. Ahmad Muhammad Bulkachuwa for publicly claiming he influenced the decisions of his wife, Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, a former Court of Appeal President.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, who gave the ruling, held that the lawmaker has no right to influence the judgments of a judge even as his wife, described it as an act of corruption.
Persecondnews reports that in a viral video clip on June 12, Sen. Bulkachuwa, said during a valedictory session of the 9th National Assembly that “his wife, Justice Zainab, assisted his colleagues at the National Assembly, as a serving judge.”
There were calls for the arrest of the lawmaker after he said:“My wife accepted my encroachment, and extended her help to my colleagues.”
The lawmaker later filed a suit seeking an order restraining anti-graft agencies from inviting, interrogating, or arresting him over his statement.
Bulkachuwa, through his lawyer, Donald Ayibiowu, in his originating summons before Justice Inyang Ekwo stated that the leadership of the 9th Assembly did not allow him to “fully speak” during the valedictory session.
Ayibiowu claimed that his client’s political opponents are now twisting the development to malign his reputation and that of his family.
Moreso, Ayibiowu argued that in line with Section 1 of the Legislative Houses’ Powers and Privileges) Act 2017, only the Senate in session or any of its sub-committees has the disciplinary power to invite Bulkachuwa to answer any question relating to his conduct/utterances on the floor of the Nigerian Senate.
The plaintiff, therefore, asked the court to declare that he “is covered, privileged and protected by the parliamentary immunity as enshrined in Section 1 of the Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges) Act 2017 and freedom of speech and expression made thereto is privileged.”
The Attorney-General of the Federation, the Clerk of the National Assembly, State Security Service, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC), and Nigeria Police Force, were listed as 1st to fifth defendants.
Amid the whole controversy, the retired justice had debunked the comments credited to her husband, saying she “never favored any party” during her time as a judge.
However, in his judgment on Tuesday, Justice Ekwo held that the “answer is simple, he influenced his wife,” adding that this is an act of corruption.
He said the statement of the lawmaker is a “confession of an irregular act that is subject to be investigated and prosecuted.”
The judge said the plaintiff is liable to be arrested based on his statement, adding that the National Assembly is not a place to hide any person who has committed a crime involving influencing the administration of criminal justice.