The Attorney-General of Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), says the National Assembly lacks the constitutional power to summon President Muhammadu Buhari.
Reports has it that President Buhari was scheduled to appear before and brief lawmakers on the security challenges rocking the country.
But during the National Executive Council of the APC on Tuesday, governors prevailed on the president not to appear before the National Assembly.
In a statement on Wednesday, Malami stated that the constitution gives the president exclusive rights over security and cannot be summoned by lawmakers.
“President Muhamamdu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 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 statement read.
“The confidentiality of strategies employed by the President as the commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not open for public exposore in view of security implications in probable undermining of the war against terror.
“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.
“While condoling the bereaved and sympathising with the victims of the associated insecurity in the country, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN maintained that national security is not about publicity and the nation’s security architecture cannot be exposed for the sake of getting publicity.”
He stated that the National Assembly has no Constitutional Power to envisage or contemplate a situation where the President would be summoned on the operational use of the Armed Forces.
Malami insisted that it was the right of Buhari to engage the National Assembly and appear before it and not at the behest of the National Assembly.
“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 Representatives operated outside constitutional bounds,” Malami added.