The spokesperson for the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has explained that the House did not act in error by inviting President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the house had the right to investigate issues bothering the country.
Recall that the House had last week resolved to summon Mr Buhari to address them on insecurity and incessant killing of Nigerians by armed gunmen.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the President had since shelved plans to honour the lawmakers’ invitation.
However, speaking with newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, Mr Kalu said the invitation extended to the President was not aimed at ridiculing him, but for engagement with the house on ways to address security challenges in the country.
According to him, the idea of the invitation was to have a feedback mechanism on the security situation in the country, adding that the partnership established by the 9th assembly with the executive would be sustained.
He, however, said that since Nigeria was operating a democracy hinged on party supremacy, the president can decide to follow the advice of his part on any issue.
“The President is not more powerful than the party, but if he took a decision and his party took another, he must oblige the party,” he said.
Malami faults Buhari’s summon
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday, said that the National Assembly has no constitutional power to summon Mr Buhari on the operational use of the armed forces.
The AGF, in a statement on Wednesday, said the confidentiality of strategies employed by the President is not open for public exposure, in view of security implications in the probable undermining of the war against terror.
According to him, the President has recorded “tremendous success in containing the hitherto incessant bombing, colossal killings, wanton destruction of lives and property that bedeviled the country before attaining the helm of affairs of the country in 2015”.
“The fact that President Muhammadu Buhari was instrumental to the reclaiming of over 14 Local Governments previously controlled by the Boko Haram in North East is an open secret, the strategies for such achievement are not open for public expose,” Mr Malami said.
The AGF added that the President has Constitutional privileges attached to his Office, “including exclusivity and confidentiality investiture in security operational matters, which remains sacrosanct”.
Mr Malami, however, said the right of the President to appear before the lawmakers is “inherently discretionary” and not at their behest.
“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 Representative operated outside constitutional bounds.
“President’s exclusivity of constitutional confidentiality investiture within the context of the constitution remains sacrosanct,” Mr Malami added.