By Babajide Okeowo
The National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, are set to clash after Malami stated that the National Assembly has no constitutional power to summon President Muhammadu Buhari.
Malami stirred the hornets’ nest on Wednesday in a statement titled ‘Buhari’s Summon: NASS Operates Outside Constitutional bounds.’
The AGF said, “National Assembly has no constitutional power to envisage or contemplate a situation where the president would be summoned by the national assembly on the operational use of the armed forces.
He also noted 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.
“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 Representatives operated outside constitutional bounds. President’s exclusivity of constitutional confidentiality investiture within the context of the constitution remains sacrosanct” Malami wrote.
Recall that Members of the House of Representatives on December 1st passed a resolution to invite President Buhari to brief the house on the true state of the security situation in the country.
The decision to summon President Buhari was taken at plenary when the House considered a motion moved by members from Borno State on the recent massacre of 43 rice farmers in the state by Boko Haram insurgents.
In response to this, the President’s Personal Assistant on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie announced on Monday, December 7 that the President will address a joint session of the National Assembly.
It is left to be seen if President Buhari will still appear before the joint plenary in the light of the latest development.