Reps deny apologising to Buhari, fault Malami’s claim on summon
The House of Representatives, yesterday, said it was untrue that it apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari for summoning him to appear before it over security matters.
In a statement issued in Abuja, spokesman for the House, Benjamin Kalu, urged the media to uphold the ethics of journalism practice and not misconstrue events or developments.
“The president of the Presidency, as the case may be, never sought for an apology from the House of Representatives for carrying out her constitutional responsibility to the Nigerian electorate.
“Where then did the media get the report that the House, as an institution, apologised to anyone? For the avoidance of doubt, the House never apologised to anyone for exercising its constitutional mandate and will not do anything to desecrate or destroy the legislature as the critical institution of democracy.
“We strongly believe that President Buhari subscribes to this democratic ethos and ideals as well,” Kalu said in a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He noted that the motion to invite the president over security matters was sponsored by representatives from Borno on behalf of the people.
The House had earlier invited the president to appear and brief lawmakers on the state of security following the murder of some 43 rice farmers in Borno in November.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, after a meeting with the president, told newsmen that Buhari accepted the invitation and agreed to appear. But the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) later declared that the lawmakers lacked the power to summon President Buhari.
MEANWHILE, a member of the House from Ekiti State, Mrs. Wumi Ogunlola, has described as misleading Malami’s view that the National Assembly lacks the power to summon President Buhari.
Ogunlola said Malami was being ‘clever’ by half to hold such a claim at a time Nigerians were being ravaged by insurgents, kidnappers, and bandits.
The lawmaker, who spoke in Ijero Ekiti, yesterday, while empowering some of her constituents, argued that the 1999 Constitution empowers the National Assembly to summon anybody in the discharge of its oversight responsibilities.
“Security is the foremost agitation of all Nigerians now. If you look at the ways banditry, kidnapping and insurgency are thriving, we can only hope that the government will up its game and bring the situation under control. Security is very paramount to any government, that is why it is the primary purpose of government, apart from social welfare. We are hoping that we will get it right,” she said.
The lawmaker advised President Buhari to look at the handlers of the nation’s security apparatuses and make the right changes.
“I am also of the humble opinion that the security chiefs have outlived their usefulness, they are supposed to be in retirement at homes now, but still being kept. The House of Representatives has the right to summon President. If the AGF says we don’t have such powers, he is only being clever by half.”