By Sylvester Idowu
A chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Delta State gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke, last night faulted the claim by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), that the National Assembly lacks the powers to invite the President Muhammadu Buhari to speak on security matters.
Onuesoke who faulted the statement by Malami while reacting to questions from newsmen in Warri, noted that if the National Assembly lacks the constitutional powers to summon the president as interpreted by Malami, then it means Nigeria is not practicing a democratic system of government which brought both the president and other elected office holders to power.
“Honestly, I cannot believe what I am reading. Which constitution grants Malami and his boss the right not to appear before a National Assembly summon, especially on matters that affect the people they represent when people’s lives are lost on daily basis? Morally speaking, do they even need to summon anybody that has human feelings before such a person begins to request for appearance and give situation reports to the entire nation,?” he asked.
Onuesoke argued that the defence of Malami has no basis because the legislators represent the people and the president is answerable to the people.
He noted that a country cannot be practicing democracy and her president is not answerable to the elected representatives of the people.
According to him, by his statement, Malami is telling Nigerians that the government they learnt ias a subject in secondary school about checks and balances in a democratic state like Nigeria is fake and a scam.
“Malami should tell Nigerians what provision or section of the constitution bars the National Assembly from inviting a president, or directs us to a ruling of the Supreme Court preventing a president from honouring the invitation of the legislative arm of government.
“Anyway, Buhari accepted the invitation nonetheless while the Speaker of the House of Representative and other Aso Rock aides confirmed the appearance of the president. Perhaps Buhari is ignorant, while Gbajabiamila is a liar, and both political leaders are not versed in the workings of a democracy? Malami is surely taking Nigerians for fools.
“Not that any thing good can come out from the appearance of Buhari at the National Assembly. However, not honouring the call of the legislators, especially after giving an undertaken to the Speaker, should be a good grounds to commence impeachment proceedings against the president for a disobedient, disrespectful and dishonourable conduct unbecoming of the president of Nigeria,” he stated.