Nigeria: We Were Right to Summon Buhari – House of Representatives

Mr Buhari spurned the invitation after he was prevailed upon by his justice minister and his party, APC, to do so

Benjamin Kalu, spokesperson for the House of Representatives, has said the invitation extended to President Muhammadu Buhari was not aimed at ridiculing him over security matters.

Mr Kalu, while speaking with journalists on Thursday in Abuja, said the president was rather invited for engagement with the house on ways to address security challenges in the country.

He said 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 party 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.

Mr Kalu said the house did not act in error by inviting the president, adding that the house had the right to investigate issues bothering the country.

Mr Buhari was slated to address a joint session of the National Assembly on Thursday after he had initially accepted to honour the invitation extended to him by the House of Representatives.

The president, however, declined to honour the invitation after he was advised by the APC NEC following a motion moved by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and seconded by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Mr Akeredolu had prevailed on the president to decline the invitation, saying honouring such invitation could instigate state houses of assembly to begin to invite their governors to speak on sundry issues.

On his own part, Attorney General of the Federation and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, argued that the National Assembly has no constitutional powers to summon the pPresident to appear before it.

While some lawyers and analysts have sided with Mr Malami on his position, senior lawyers like Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome ,however, have disagreed with him, saying the lawmakers have the powers to summon the president to appear before them.



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