The Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Toby Okechukwu, has called out the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for claiming the National Assembly does not have the power to summon President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bibian Anekwe News had earlier reported that the Minister in a statement noted that the lawmakers lack the power to summon Buhari to appear before the house on the rising insecurity in the country.
Okechukwu while reacting to the development blamed some political office holders in the All Progressives Congress for pressuring the President not to appear before the lawmakers.
The lawmaker further stated that the AGF is only airing the position of the ruling party on the issue.
Recall that the House of Representatives had invited the President following the killing of more than 42 rice farmers in Borno State by Boko Haram.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, noted that the President was willing to appear before the house.
The Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila had confirmed that the President was willing to appear before the House, adding that a date had been agreed and will be made public soon.
Malami, however, stated that the House lacks the constitutional power to summon the president.
Okechukwu, who represents Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, Enugu State, faulted Malami’s claim and described it as “strange”.
“Section 89 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended clearly empowers the Senate or the House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with Section 62 of the Constitution to procure evidence, written or oral and to ‘summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place,” Okechukwu was quoted by Channels Television.
“Therefore the attempt to pressurize Mr President not to appear clearly shows that some highly placed political actors in the ruling party are placing politics over the protection of lives of Nigerians. The APC is evidently fiddling with propaganda and politics while Nigeria burns.”
“It is evident from APC’s position as made public by the AGF that the safety of Nigerian citizens would take a back sit in the next few days, while the argument over who is right or wrong unfortunately takes the front seat,” he added.