A member of the House of Representatives from Ekiti State, Wunmi Ogunlola, has faulted the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami’s claim that the National Assembly lacks the powers to summon President Muhammadu Buhari to address security issues in the country.
Ogunlola, a member of the All Progressives Congress representing Ijero/Efon/Ekiti West Federal Constituency of Ekiti State, said Malami was being ‘clever’ by half to hold such a claim at a time Nigerians were being ravaged by insurgents, kidnappers, and bandits.
According to Vanguard, the APC chieftain said this in Ijero Ekiti on Monday while empowering hundreds of her constituents.
The House of Representatives had invited President Buhari to speak about the worsening security situation in the country. But Malami said the National Assembly lacks the power to invite the President to speak on security matters.
In a statement titled, ‘Buhari’s Summon: NASS Operates Outside Constitutional Bounds’, Malami described security matters as the exclusive preserve of the executive arm of government.
He said, “As the Commander-in-Chief, the President has exclusivity on security and has confidentiality over security. These powers and rights, he does not share. So, by summoning the President on national security operational matters, the House of Representative operated outside constitutional bounds. President’s exclusivity of constitutional confidentiality investiture within the context of the constitution remains sacrosanct.”
But some lawyers have criticised the AGF for his comments, saying the President owes Nigerians an explanation as according to the Nigerian Constitution, the first responsibility of the government is the security of lives and property of citizens.
Similarly, Ogunlola criticised the AGF for the comment, saying, “Security is the foremost agitation of all Nigerians now. If you look at the way banditry, kidnapping and insurgency are thriving, we can only hope that the government will do the needful.
“Security is very paramount to any government apart from social welfare. We are hoping that we will get it right. The House had advised the president to look at the handlers of our security apparatuses and make the right changes.
“I am also of the humble opinion that the security chiefs have outlived their usefulness; they are supposed to be in retirement at home now, but (they are) still being kept.
“If you keep on doing certain things the same way, you will be getting the same result. The Nigerian government must look critically at this sector and do what is right.
“The House of Representatives has the right to summon the president. If the AGF said we don’t have such powers, he was only being clever by half. The president is accountable to Nigerians, we can call him to explain to Nigerians about any issue.
“For him (Malami) to say we have no power to invite the President, I perceive that as a figment of his own imagination and not the position of government.”