APC lawmakers protest call for suspension of Buhari’s executive order
Aggrieved lawmakers from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives on Wednesday staged a walk-out from the chamber to protest against the ruling of Speaker Yakubu Dogara on a
motion seeking to suspend President Buhari’s Executive Order.
To this end, the House resolved to invite Abubakar Malami, Attorney General and Minister of Justice as well as Keffas Magaji, Chairman, Nigerian Law Reform Commission, to appear before it and submit a comprehensive list of all subsidiary legislation in Nigeria that are published in the Federal Gazette.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion including: Rimande Shawulu (PDP-Taraba); Dan Asuquo (PDP-Cross River); Henry Ofogo (PDP-Bayelsa) warned against the breach of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
In his lead debate on the motion of ‘matters of urgent public importance,’ Ossai called for an investigation into the constitutional compliance of all subsidiary legislation and Executive Orders by the Executive arm of government.
Ossai noted that the recent Executive Order Number 006 of 2018 signed into law by President Buhari on 5th July, 2018, was a demonstration of usurpation of the legislative and judicial powers by the Executive arm of government.
He maintained that the “Executive Order inter-alia empowers the Executive to restrict dealings in suspicious assets subjected to investigation or inquiry bordering on corruption.
“The House is aware that section 44 subsection 2(k) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), restricts the application of compulsory acquisition of movable and immovable property in any part of Nigeria except on the temporary takings of possession of property for the purpose of any examination,
investigation or inquiry.
He further observed that section 315(2) of the 1999 Constitution, is to the effect that appropriate authority may by order make such modification on an existing law as it considers necessary and in conformity with the provisions of the Constitution.
Ossai alleged that “Executive order number 006 of 2018 is a clear usurpation of legislative and judicial powers and a replication of subsisting legislations such as section 8 of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions Act) of 1983, section 330 of the Administrative of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 and certain provisions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act”.
In his remarks, Dan Asuquo (PDP-Cross River) observed that an order which may deny Nigerians the right to fair hearing negates the tenets of democratic governance.
On his part, Rimande Shawulu, chairman, House Committee on army harped on the need to exercise caution in order not to trample on the fundamental human rights of the citizens to own property.
While noting that such action will send a wrong signal to the global community, the Taraba lawmaker maintained that several international rating indices have portrayed Nigeria negatively, owing mainly the procedures adopted in the fight against corruption.
Speaking against the motion, Mojeed Alabi (APC-Osun), who argued that Buhari had earlier passed similar Executive Orders and the question of legality of Executive Order 006 need not arise.
While noting that the motion was ‘hasty and premature’, the Osun lawmaker urged the House to approach the Supreme Court for interpretation of the Executive Order with the view to clarify the ambiguity.
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