Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution: Power of the National Assembly Concerning Evidence During Investigation

Investigation

The 1999 Constitution

Section 89 (1)

For the purposes of any investigation under section 88 of this Constitution and subject to the provisions thereof, the Senate or the House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with section 62 of this Constitution shall have power to-

(In order to exercise their power to conduct investigations given to the National Assembly under Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, the National Assembly or a Committee which has been duly created under Section 62 of the 1999 Constitution shall have the power to do the following:- )


Section 89 (1)(a)

procure all such evidence, written or oral, direct or circumstantial, as it may think necessary or desirable, and examine all persons as witnesses whose evidence may be material or relevant to the subject matter;

(The National Assembly has the power to collect evidence in whatever form as long as it believes such evidence to be necessary and desirable. It also has the power to examine witnesses who they believe will be important to an investigation.)


Section 89 (1)(b)

require such evidence to be given on oath;

(The National Assembly also has the power to ask whomever gives evidence to give such on oath.)


Section 89 (1)(c)

summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place or produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, and examine him as a witness and require him to produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, subject to all just exceptions; and

(They also have the power to summon anyone in Nigeria to give evidence in an investigation conducted by them at any place and to also produce documents or other things which they possess or are under the control of the person being summoned. They also have the power to examine a person as a witness and require such witness to produce any document or thing under his control. This sub section is however guided by just exceptions.)


Section 89 (1)(d)

issue a warrant to compel the attendance of any person who, after having been summoned to attend, fails, refuses or neglects to do so and does not excuse such failure, refusal or neglect to the satisfaction of
the House or the committee in question, and order him to pay all costs which may have been occasioned in compelling his attendance or by reason of his failure, refusal or neglect to obey the summons, and also to impose such fine as may be prescribed for any such failure, refused or neglect; and any fine so imposed shall be recoverable in the same manner as a fine imposed by a court of law.

(The National Assembly has the power to issue a warrant in order to force a person who has ignored or refused to answer to a summons by the House without a good enough excuse for such refusal. The House can also compel such person to pay whatever expenses incurred by the House in forcing such person to answer a summons and they can also fine such person for such refusal. Such fines issued by the House will be recovered like fines issued by Courts. Bottom line: If the National Assembly summons you, just answer the summons so you won’t be forced, made to pay cost or fined for refusal.)


Section 89 (2)

A summons or warrant issued under this section may be served or executed by any member of the Nigeria Police Force or by any person authorised in that behalf by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may require.

(The execution of a summons or warrant mentioned in this section can be done by any member of the Nigerian Police Force or by any person who has been authorized by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House depending on the situations.)

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