Reps summon: NASS lacks powers to summon Buhari, says AGF

By Ameh Ejekwonyilo

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), says the National Assembly lacks the constitutional backing to invite President Muhammad Buhari over growing insecurity in the country.

Malami, however, said the country had recorded “tremendous success in containing the hitherto incessant bombings, colossal killings and wanton destruction of lives and property,” prior to Buhari’s emergence as president in May 2015.

In a press statement issued on Wednesday by Dr. Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the AGF on Media, Mr. Malami said, “Mr. President has enjoyed Constitutional privileges attached to the Office of the President including exclusivity and confidentiality investiture in security operational matters, which remains sacrosanct.

He added that, ” The National Assembly has no Constitutional Power to envisage or contemplate a situation where the President would be summoned by the National Assembly on operational use of the 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.

“The management and control of the security sector is exclusively vested in the President by Section 218 (1) of the Constitution as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces including the power to determine the operational use of the Armed Forces. An invitation that seeks to put the operational use of the Armed Forces to a public interrogation is indeed taking the constitutional rights of law making beyond bounds.

“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,” the statement read.

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