You goofed – Reps
APC, PDP lawmakers head for showdown
ATTORNEY-GENERAL of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that National Assembly (NASS) lacked the power to quiz President Muhammadu Buhari on security matters.
Malami stated this yesterday in a release titled ‘Buhari’s Summon: NASS Operates Outside Constitutional Bounds.’
The warning is coming against the backdrop of reports that President Buhari had decided not to address a joint session of NASS today over the killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno State recently.
According to Malami, members of National Assembly have no constitutional power to envisage or contemplate a situation where the President would be summoned by them on operations of Nigeria Armed Forces.
“The right of the president to engage the National Assembly and appear before it is inherently discretionary in the President and not at the behest of the National Assembly. President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has recorded tremendous success in containing the hitherto incessant bombing, colossal killings, wanton destruction of lives and property that bedeviled the country before attaining the helm of affairs of the country in 2015. The confidentiality of strategies employed by the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not open for public exposure in view of security implications in probable undermining of the war against terror. The fact that President Muhammadu Buhari was instrumental to the reclaiming of over 14 local governments previously controlled by the Boko Haram in North East is an open secret, the strategies for such achievement are not open for public expose,” he said.
It will be recalled that House of Representatives, last week, invited Buhari to appear before it today over the rising insecurity and the killing of over 43 farmers in Borno State, with an aide to the President, Lauretta Onochie, also revealed that Buhari would appear before a joint session of the National Assembly.
But Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu, described as strange, the claim by Malami that the National Assembly lacks the powers to summon the president.
Okechukwu flayed Malami in a statement he issued yesterday, saying APC is fiddling while Nigeria burns.
Meanwhile, there are strong indications that members of House of Representatives have pitched themselves for a showdown along party lines over President Buhari’s last minute cancellation of his visit to the lower chamber today.