A Non-governmental organization, Lygel Youths and Leadership Initiatives, has alleged a breach in the constitutional responsibility in the leadership of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission.
The group, in a petition dated May 5, 2021 and signed by its Director, Legal and Compliance, Olalekan Oladapo, accused the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Jummai Audi of “brazen usurpation of power” in running the affairs of the commission.
The petition was addressed to the National Assembly through the Senate President, and a copy which was also sent to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, SAN, Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matter, Opeyemi Bamidele and seven other stakeholders.
In the petition, the group alleged that the Commission, saddled with such a huge responsibility, is hamstrung from carrying out its functions efficiently as provided in Section 5 of the Act.
The group also alleges that the chairman, in asserting her position, has extended her power by usurping the responsibility of the Secretary of the commission as delegated by Section 11 of the same Act, thereby taking over the accounting and auditing functions of the Secretary.
They also alleged that the Secretary and the other Commissioners had no knowledge and input in the 2020 and 2021 budgets proposed to and approved by the National Assembly.
Similarly, the group also alleged that Mrs Audi had overturned the Board at will, adding that the Chairman disregarded the board by jettisoning the Board’s quarterly meetings.
The NGO, therefore, sought stakeholders’ intervention, compelling Mrs Audi to allow Secretary of the Commission to take his statutory role as the Accounting Officer of the Commission in order to restore normalcy into the system.
While threatening a legal action if within 30 days the issues were not addressed, the group however urged the Chairman to recognize, respect and honour the Commission’s Board in the course of performing their statutory roles.
Efforts to contact Mrs Audi was futile as she did not pick several calls put to her, nor did she reply message sent to her MTN and Airtel numbers as at the time of filing this report.
In the same vein, the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, SAN could not be reached for comment.