National Assembly Can’t Summon Buhari over Security Matters, Says Malami

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Abubakar Malami
Abubakar Malami

Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Wednesday said that the National Assembly lacked the constitutional power to summon President Muhammadu Buhari over security matters.

Malami, in a statement, argued that the issue of security is confidential and how the president handles it should not be for public exposure.

“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 exposure in view of security implications in probable undermining of the war against terror”, he said.

He argued that Buhari had recorded tremendous success in containing the hitherto incessant bombings, colossal killings, wanton destruction of lives and property that bedeviled the country before attaining the helm of affairs of the country in 2015.

According to him national security is not about publicity and the nation’s security architecture cannot be exposed for the sake of getting publicity.

While stating that the President enjoys 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 had 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 Representatives operated outside constitutional bounds. President’s exclusivity of constitutional confidentiality investiture within the context of the constitution remains sacrosanct”, the statement added.