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DSS, ICPC can investigate you, court tells Bulkachuwa

DSS, ICPC can investigate you, court tells Bulkachuwa

A Federal High Court Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed a suit filed by Adamu Bulkachuwa, a former senator, seeking to stop the ICPC from investigating him over a comment he made during the valedictory session of the 9th National Assembly.

Justice Inyang Ekwo, in a judgment, held that the suit lacked merit and ought to be dismissed. Ekwo said that Bulkachuwa, being a lawmaker, ought to understand the implication of the statement that he made on the floor of the Senate.

Recall that Bulkachuwa on June 10, 2025, openly boasted during the valedictory session of the 9th Senate, of how on various occasions he influenced judgments in favour of his National Assembly colleagues through his wife, Zainab Bulkachuwa, a former president of the Appeal Court of Nigeria.

However, according to Justice Ekwo, the legislative immunity that the plaintiff (Bulkachuwa) claims in his case does not avail him.

“It is the duty of every law-abiding citizen to assist and cooperate with law enforcement agencies in their quest to carry out their statutory function.

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“It is only where a law enforcement agency breaches the fundamental right of a citizen in the process of carrying out their statutory function, that a cause of action could be said to have arisen,” the judge said.

Bulkachuwa had sued the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), the NASS clerk, the Department of State Security (DSS), ICPC and the Nigeria Police Force as 1st to 5th defendants respectively.

The plaintiff 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.”

He also prayed the court to declare that without exhausting the internal disciplinary mechanism, recommendations and approval of the 9th Senate, no other law enforcement agent of the Federal Government, including the defendants can invite any member of the Senate for questioning/interview.

Justice Ekwo said the utterance made by Bulkachuwa on the floor of the Debate on June 10 was not covered by Section 39(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

“The provision is that every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.”

According to the judge, the clear words of Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) cannot be interpreted to mean that a person can say anything he likes.

“In a formal setting like the plenary session or committee proceedings of the Senate, it is not expected a person who is privileged to voice any expression will utter words or express opinion or impart ideas or gives’ information that cannot be defended under the constitution.

“Upon studying the provision of Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), it is my opinion, that the words uttered by the plaintiff on the floor of the Senate on Saturday, June 10, 2023, was a confession of doing an act that is prohibited by law.

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“When a person confesses that he influenced a judicial officer to help his friends and colleagues, such a person has gone beyond the limit of freedom of speech that is reasonably covered and protected by the provision of Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“A person who has used the opportunity given to him by the constitution to express himself freely and uses the opportunity to expose his actions or conduct which the law of the land criminalises, has unwittingly invited law enforcement agencies to question him.

“This is what the plaintiff did in this case. I therefore find that the speech of the plaintiff on the floor of the Senate on June 10, was a confession of an illegal act and Section 39 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) cannot be invoked to cover such and I so hold,” he declared.