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Insecurity: NASS lacks power to summon Buhari – Attorney General

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami on Wednesday said the National Assembly lacks Constitutional power to invite President Muhammadu Buhari over on-going insecurity challenges in the country.

Malami in a statement in Abuja said the right to use the armed forces is exclusive and confidential to the President.

The House of Representatives had last week invited the President to address over insecurity in the country especially in the North East where 43 rice farmers were brutally killed by insurgent group, Boko Haram.

The President thereafter agreed to appear before the House on Thursday following a meeting with House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila.

AGF Malami

According to him, “President Muhamamdu 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 exposore 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”.

While condoling the bereaved and sympathising with the victims of the associated insecurity in the country, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN maintained that national security is not about publicity and the nation’s security architecture cannot be exposed for the sake of getting publicity.”

The Justice Minister 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.”

He pointed out that the decision to appear before the national assembly should be at the president’s discretion and not subject to summons by the lawmakers.

“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,” he stated.

“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”, he added.

Written by ExpressDay

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