Lawyer Says Nigeria Governors Forum Is Unconstitutional

A Nigerian lawyer says the Nigeria Governors Forum is an unconstitutional body that is an affront to the Nigerian Constitution. Mr Idaye Opi, told Channels … Continue reading Lawyer Says Nigeria Governors Forum Is Unconstitutional


Idaye-OpiA Nigerian lawyer says the Nigeria Governors Forum is an unconstitutional body that is an affront to the Nigerian Constitution.

Mr Idaye Opi, told Channels Television that the Nigeria Governors Forum was set up against the stipulations of Section 183 of the nation’s constitution.

“The Governors Forum is an affront to section 183 which reads: “The governor ‘shall not’, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive or paid employment in any capacity ‘whatsoever’.

“The Nigerian Governors Forum constitution, Article 7 lists out the functions of the executive committee which is made up of serving governors.

“The word executive is huge in that committee,” he said.

Mr Opi read out the content of Article 7: “The Executive Committee is a central executive organ of the Forum, with the general responsibility of steering the affairs of the Forum. The Executive shall in addition to its general responsibilities perform the following duties;

“Assign members based on their competence and their backgrounds to the forum’s standing committees and task forces, appoint the chairman of the standing committee and task forces, decide on the specific tasks and assignments to be handled by the standing committee and task forces, oversee the work of the standing committee and task forces and organise issue out invitation and decide on the agenda of the governing board”.

Expressing his grouse over the establishment of the Forum further, he pointed out that Nigeria is going through some serious crossroads.

“We do not have jobs, power or the economy going on properly. The Governor’s work is time conscious and he does not want distraction.

“The Constitution granted immunity to the Governor not as luxury but for the fact that the governor is not expected to be distracted.

“But the governors filter the time value they are supposed to put into their work away”.

He further explained that the Governors Forum was a purely private enterprise and not a government enterprise.

According to him, the Forum is registered under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

“What they do is their business and it is not a constitutional body or a body that was brought into existence by a statute.

“The governors do not have the freedom of association. Because the section 40 of the Nigerian constitution now supersedes Section 183,” he stressed.

The governor’s forum had called on the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to account for $20 billion oil revenue.

The governors insisted that since funds in the Excess Crude Account were last disbursed in May 2013, there is need for the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy to provide explanation for accruals to the account from June 2013 to April 2015, which were estimated at over $20 billion.

But Mr Opi condemned the governor’s request, emphasising that the Governors had no right to carry out oversight function on the Federal Government.