The founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN, has said Buhari is ill-advised against honouring the House of Representatives invitation.
Babalola said Buhari ought to have appeared before the federal lawmakers to explain his administration’s efforts in redressing the deteriorating security situation in the country.
Barely 24 hours to the President’s planned appearance before the House, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had said the House of Representatives operated outside its constitutional bounds, a view that has attracted diverse views from lawyers.
But the ABUAD founder, who spoke in Ado Ekiti on Saturday shortly after being honoured by the Nigerian Bar Association, Akure branch, with an award of honour as the body’s Grand Patron, also took a swipe at the President, National Association of Nigerian Students, Sunday Asefon, for threatening to shut down private universities over prolonged strike in public universities.
Babalola said: “If the parliament invites the President, I believe he ought to have appeared by way of courtesy to the lawmakers. The National Assembly is the legislative body of this country; they make the law and they expect the President to carry out the law.”
Sagay backs Malami
In contrast, the Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, has backed the position expressed by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, that the House of Representatives cannot invite the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to appear before it.
Sagay said it was ambitious for the lawmakers to “summon” the President, adding that it was against protocol.
But Sagay in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said, “In my view, the NASS cannot compel the President to address them. I agree with the view of the AGF, although the reasons he gave are not the appropriate reasons. The constitution has clearly stated the circumstances in which public officers can be invited.
“The only time the President is expected to come to the National Assembly is when he is presenting budget; there is no other provision anywhere, which requires him to go to the National Assembly.”
Lawmakers’ invitation unnecessary, says Peller
Meanwhile, the representative of Iseyin, Itesiwaju, Kajola and Iwajowa Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, Shina Peller, described the invitation to Buhari as unnecessary.
The lawmaker spoke on Saturday at a symposium organised by The Chronicler Newspaper in Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State.
He said, “Instead of resorting to distraction or arguing over why the President should come or not come, why did we not concentrate on the possible legislative solutions on making effective change?”