The Nationwide Meeting Is Constitutionally Competent To Summon President Buhari
By Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, LL.M, Ph.D
I’ve simply learn, with angst and trepidation, an announcement credited to the Hon. Legal professional Basic of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, to the impact that the NASS has no energy to summon the President over his “operational use of the Armed Forces”. I’m extra disturbed with the AGF’s stance as a result of the President has already voluntarily agreed to look earlier than the NASS. Beneath sections 217, 218 and 219 of the 1999 Structure, the President can not perform the “operational use of the Armed Forces” with out the NASS concurring or empowering him to take action. Infact, beneath part 219(b), the composition of the Armed Forces of the Federation should mirror the Federal Character of Nigeria, and it’s only the NASS that has the powers to make legal guidelines regulating how the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, perform the operational use of the Armed Forces. The President can by no means achieve this alone. So, Mr. President is topic to the scrutiny of the NASS as to why the methods to this point employed by Mr President to fight insecurity have abysmally failed Nigeria; and why he has continued to retain Service Chiefs, whose tenure of workplace has since expired, and who’ve since outlived their usefulness, effectivity and effectiveness.
There’s nothing secret or confidential concerning the Nigeran safety scenario, because the AGF need us to imagine. The AGF should be residing in one other utopian world, not the identical world of actuality, the place all the Governors of the North East, and all the Northern institution and elites, together with the Sultan of Sokoto, the ACF and the NEF, who’ve all decried the horrible insecurity scenario within the North. Certainly, the Sultan mentioned, with out contradiction, that the North is probably the most hazardous and dangerous place to stay in Nigeria right now. So, the place is the AGF getting his details about reclaiming of over 14 Native Authorities Areas allegedly beforehand managed by the Boko Haram from?Is there anyone in Nigeria right now, together with even the toddlers, who have no idea that all the safety structure and apparatchik of Nigeria is over 98% managed and locatedin one part and one faith of this pluralistic, multi-ethic, multi-religious and multi-linguistic nation known as Nigeria?
I subsequently complete heartedly and most vehemently disagree with the mentioned assertion credited to the Hon AGF, to the impact that the Nationwide Meeting is just not constitutionally competent to ask Mr. President to come back and deal with it on nationwide safety points. That piece of recommendation is flawed, flawed and flawed. I’m amazed that the Presidential aids and spoke individuals to Mr. President, equivalent to Minister of Info, Mr. Lai Mohammed, the AGF, Mr. Femi Adesina and Mr. GarubaShehu, don’t give Mr. President the fitting and proper recommendation as to methods to transfer the nation ahead. They continuously have interaction in sophistry, inanities and ineffective liberal disquision, which don’t in any method assist to re-engineer the nationwide weal; what late Okay. O. Mbadiwe, will discuss with as “nationwide resurgimento”.
President Muhammadu Buhari should realise that historical past will choose him for good or for dangerous; not his Legal professional Basic or spokepersons. What Nigerians will bear in mind sooner or later might be“the Buhari Administration”, not the Abubakar Malami, Lai Mohammed, Femi Adesina, or Garuba Shehu administration. It is because, as former American President, Harry Truman, as soon as put it, “the Buck stops right here”.
The Nigerian presidential system of presidency is modeled after the American Presidential system of presidency. And since 1776, when America turned impartial from the British Empire, and as much as April 30, 1789, when George Washington stood on the balcony of Federal Corridor on Wall Road in New York, and took the oath of workplace because the President of the USA, each American President has at all times given an annual “State of the Union Handle”.And that is truly prescribed within the American Structure, in Article 2, part 3, clause 1. Though such a selected provision is just not discovered within the Nigerian Structure, it’s nevertheless clear that beneath part 4 of the 1999 Structure, it’s the Nationwide Meeting that’s vested with the constitutional powers to “make legal guidelines for the peace, order and good authorities of the Federation, or any half thereof with respect to any matter included within the Unique legislative record…..”.
It subsequently signifies that the President can solely execute legal guidelines made by the Nationwide Meeting, by advantage of part 5 of the identical Structure, both by himself instantly, or by means of the Vice President, Ministers or Officers of the Public Service of the Federation.
Equally, beneath part 81(1), the President is anticipated, each monetary yr, to arrange and bodily lay earlier than the Nationwide Meeting, estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Federation for the subsequent monetary yr. That is generally known as the Nationwide Price range.
In such a scenario, the Pink and Blue Chambers of the NASS, meet collectively at a joint sitting,which is presided over by the Senate President, and in his absence, the Speaker of the Home of Representatives, beneath part 53(2) of the 1999 Structure. Can anybody, together with the AGF, rightly argue that the NASS can not constitutionally, not solely invite, but in addition command, the President to, seem earlier than it? I feel not.
Moreover, by advantage of part 88(1) of the 1999 Structure, the Nationwide Meeting has the powers, by decision revealed in its journal, or within the Official Gazette of the Federation, to direct or trigger to be directed, investigation into ANY MATTER that it has powers to make legal guidelines on, as such issues embody the conduct of affairs of ANY PERSON, authority, ministry or authorities division, which is in command of executing or administering Legal guidelines enacted by the NASS, and likewise disbursing or administering monies appropriated or to be appropriated by the Govt beneath sections 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, and 162 of the 1999 Structure. And these powers of the NASS are exercisable to “appropriate any defects in current legal guidelines”, and to “expose corruption, inefficiency or waste within the execution of legal guidelines made by the NASS”, and within the disbursement of funds appropriated by it. “ANY PERSON” said in part 88(1)(b) above, in fact consists of President Muhammadu Buhari himself. No extra, no much less.
Within the face of this, can the AGF nonetheless argue that Buhari can’t be summoned by the NASS to elucidate the next
(a) The monumental corruption at present ravaging the nation, which has since made recovered loots to be additional relooted?
(b)Corruption which has made the as soon as Anti-corruption Czar, MrIbrahim Magu, to himself face the Justice Salami Panel and CCB, over allegations of large corruption, abuse of workplace, insubordination, and so on, which was ignited and initiated by Abubakar Malami himself?
(c) That corruption in Nigeria has develop into so incrementally monumental and cancerous, strutting about like a proud peacock, that Nigeria has carried the unenviable trophy of the 148 out of 180 most corrupt international locations on this planet; and the shameful diadem of the threerd most corrupt nation in West Africa, based on the 2020Transparency Worldwide Corruption Notion Index (CPI)?
(d) Why “inefficiency”(part 88(1)(b)) and ineffectiveness, have made the current Buhari authorities to develop into lame-duck, clueless, visionless and compassless, that the nation is actually on auto-pilot?
(e) That insecurity has develop into so alarmingly rampant that Boko Haram that was so tamed beneath the Jonathan authorities that elections seamlessly befell within the North East in 2015, has right now develop into so monstrous that Northerners themselves are actually singing to Nigerians that Boko Haram actually controls all the North East area, mounting highway blocks and checkpoints, and gathering income, taxation, and ransom from indigenes, whom they situation move to, earlier than they’re allowed to maneuver freely about in their very own territories?
(f) That Boko Haram has even been rendered a baby’s play, compared with rampaging armed banditry,vicious and murderous Herdsmen, who kill Nigeran residents of their farms and rape their moms, wives and daughters, of their bedrooms, proper earlier than their very eyes?
(g) That Boko Haram has since been overtaken by violent and savagery instances of kidnapping and murders throughout the size and breadth Nigerian area?
(h) That the Nigerian economic system has develop into so parlous that beneath the Buhari regime, Nigeria has entered right into a second recession,and has since develop into the poverty capital of the world, overtaking India;whereas,beneath the Jonathan authorities in 2015, Nigeria was rebased as the most important economyin Africa, overtaking South Africa within the course of, with over $500billion, which made her one of many 7th quickest rising economies on this planet?
With these, the AGF ought to by no means advise Mr. President to not seem earlier than the NASS. It isn’t solely ethical and moral to take action; additionally it is legally and constitutionally necessary for Buhari to honour NASS summons.
President Buhari ought to go and face the NASS and reply questions why his authorities has failed Nigerians so abysmally.Buhari shouldn’t be protected. He shouldn’t be masqueraded. He shouldn’t be screened. He ought to face Nigerians, eye-ball-to-eye-ball, and account for his stewardship of almost 6 years. It isn’t solely an obligation to take action; additionally it is an obligation he owes the Nigerian Folks. And that is constitutional. That is additionally ethical. That is additionally moral. That is additionally first rate.
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