Reps Invite: Malami Was Wrong To Turn Buhari’s Summon Into Legal Issue – Wike

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says it was wrong for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to turn President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Assembly invitation into a legal issue. 

Following the deteriorating state of security across the nation, the National Assembly resolved to invite President Buhari, an invitation that the Commander-In-Chief accepted.

But the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in a statement on Wednesday argued that the National Assembly has no constitutional power to summon the President.

The Attorney General of the Federation in a communique titled ‘Buhari’s Summon: NASS Operates Outside Constitutional bounds,’ stated 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 the operational use of the armed forces.”

READ ALSO: Do Not Sow The Seed Of Discord Among Governors, Wike Cautions PDP NWC

He also noted that 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.”

Reacting to Malami’s position on the matter, Governor Wike said rather than protect Buhari’s integrity, the Justice Minister’s statements put the President’s reputation on the line.

Wike further stated that the level of insecurity leading to deaths, particularly in Borno State and other parts of the country ought to have compelled President Buhari to keep his promise of honouring the invitation by the House of Representatives.

The governor pointed out that it was APC members who control a majority in the National Assembly that moved the motion to invite the President to address them on what measures are being taken to tackle and end the spate of violent killings, to which he consented.

“There is insecurity. People are dying. You don’t go by a legal approach to solve that problem. If Mr. President had given the assurance, saying my integrity is at stake, therefore I will go, that decision was not taken without talking first to his inner cabinet.

“It’s not a question and answers session. You go with a brief to address the congress. To say, see where it was when we came, see where we are today. Yes, we have not achieved what we thought, but what we require from everyone is cooperation.

“For me, I think this is not the period to be legalistic. This is the period every Nigerian should be concerned about what is happening. Just this morning (Friday), I heard that 16 people were killed on Abuja-Kaduna road yesterday. Look at the loss of life in Borno State. Senate has said look, Mr. President, relief all Service Chiefs, which means they are concerned about the security situation in the country.”

He further stated that if he were the Attorney General of the federation, he would have advised the President privately and urge him to write a letter to the House of Representatives that he would come at a later day because of the exigency of his office.

To end the spate of violent crime in the country, Governor Wike recommended the creation of employment opportunities for youths and drastic change to the operational system of policing in the country.

He insisted that States must be allowed to be involved in community policing.

President Buhari Is Committed To Electoral Reform – Malami

 

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to improving electoral reform in the country.

Mr. Malami, who is also the Minister of Justice, made the comment during an appearance at an electoral town hall event broadcast on Channels Television.

Mr. Malami said the present administration has, more than its predecessors, allowed for the independence of INEC as an institution and also respected the decisions of the judiciary.

“We are all living witnesses to what happened in Zamfara for example,” he said. “We are all living witnesses to the fact that INEC as an umpire reserves exclusive rights to determine constitutional compliance of a political party in terms of fielding a candidate.

“For the first time, the judiciary has been granted its right to determine the validity of the electoral process.

“It is not correct to conclude that this administration has not supported the evolution of the electoral process.”

The National Assembly has said it is committed to passing an amendment to the electoral act by the end of the year and Mr. Malami said the President will surely assent, provided the submitted amendments do not contravene the nation’s constitution.

“Within the context of the legality of the electoral act amendment, I give you my commitment that the President will certainly assent, provided that there are no constitutional infractions,” Malami said.

Corruption Index: No Evidence Supports Transparency International’s Findings – FG Reacts

 

The Federal Government has said there is no evidence to back the report by Transparency International which places Nigeria at 146 out of the 180 countries on the 2019 corruption perception index.

In an interview on Channels Television’s LunchTime Politics, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said the facts on the ground do not correlate with the information dished out by Transparency International.

As far as Mr. Malami is concerned “the empirical evidence” does not support  Transparency International’s report.

READ ALSO: Transparency International Scores Nigeria Low On Corruption Perception Index

The Attorney General said in terms of the government’s fight against corruption, more has been done.

“In terms of the fight against corruption, we have been doing more, we have done more and we will continue to do more out of inherent conviction and desire on our part to fight against corruption devoid of any extraneous considerations relating to the rating by Transparency International.

“Our resolve to fight corruption is inherent and indeed devoid of any extraneous considerations, we will continue to do more and we will double efforts.”

Speaking from the perspective of performance, Malami said there is nothing that has not been done as a nation in the fight against corruption.

“In terms of legislation, we have done more, in terms of enforcement we have done more, in terms of recovery of looted assets we have done more, and in terms of political goodwill, we have demonstrated extra-ordinary political goodwill,” Malami stated.

The Senior Advocate challenged Transparency International to provide indices and statistics from which the organisation adjudged that Nigeria is not doing enough in its fight against corruption, adding that for a conclusion to be legitimate, then there has to be specific facts and figures to establish a position.

Dasuki/Sowore Release: We Did Not Receive Any Letter From US Congress – Malami

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has denied that his office received a letter from the US Congress two days before the release of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, from detention.

Mr Malami stated this Friday while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“What I can confirm to you is no such letter was served on my office and no evidence or acknowledgment of receipt of such a letter in my office can be made available by the purported writers of the letter,” Malami told Channels Television.

READ ALSO: We Released Sowore, Dasuki On Compassionate Grounds, Says Malami

The AGF stressed that the release of Sowore and Dasuki was not a product of international pressure nor as a result of an intervention of the international community.

According to Mr. Malami, the release is a fair product of the government’s compliance with the court order in line with a desire to extend compassion to the individuals in question.

Regarding the government’s position on the continued detention of other political detainees like Sheihk El-Zakzaky and Agba Jalingo, Mr. Malami said in respect of all cases pending at the Judiciary, the government’s position is guided by the constitution.

INEC Renews Call For Election Offences Tribunal

INECNigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has restated the need for the establishment of an Election Offences Tribunal, as a means of checking the growing spate of electoral violence.

The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Tuesday, reiterated the Commission’s position at a discussion on elections in Nigeria organised by some civil society groups in Abuja.

Professor Yakubu outlined some reforms needed and also touched on the need to urgently address the issue of electoral violence.

In his address, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the present administration intended to carry out a comprehensive legal reform to address challenges posed by outdated electoral laws.

One of the organisers, Clement Nwankwo, however, agreed that Nigeria must take concrete steps to address the electoral violence.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, Aisha Dukku, said that the legislature would ensure that the proposed amendments were carried out on time.

The discussion is expected to be transformed into a document that would suggest other ways to improve the political and electoral process in Nigeria.