Falana Faults Malami’s Statement, Says NASS Can Summon Buhari


Constitutional and human rights lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to honour the invitation of the National Assembly.
Bibian Anekwe News reports that President Buhari was scheduled to appear before and brief lawmakers on the security challenges rocking the country to Thursday.

But during the National Executive Council of the APC on Tuesday, governors prevailed on the president not to appear before the National Assembly.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, also stated that the constitution gives the president exclusive rights over security and cannot be summoned by lawmakers.

He described the invitation to the president as unconstitutional, adding that it was the right of Buhari to engage the National Assembly or not.

Reacting, Femi Falana advised President Buhari to avoid embarrassment and honour the invitation he had earlier accepted.

According to the senior lawyer, the national assembly is constitutionally empowered to summon any government official including the president.

Falana said: “On his own part, the honourable attorney-general of the federation has questioned the constitutional power of the national assembly to invite the President on the grounds that as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces he cannot be compelled to disclose operational details of the defence of the country.

“With respect, the president is under a moral and legal obligation to honour the invitation.

“Having accepted the invitation the president should not allow himself to be embarrassed by turning round to turn down the invitation.

“By the combined effect of sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution, the National Assembly is empowered to summon any public officer including the President in the course of conducting an investigation into any matter with respect to which it has power to make laws and the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for executing or administering laws enacted by the national assembly.

“It is pertinent to note that the powers conferred on the national assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and to correct any defects in existing laws; and expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of funds appropriated by it.”



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