Six senior lawyers in the country have backed some members of the National Assembly in their six-week ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately end the country’s rising insecurity or face removal from office.
The lawmakers, particularly some Senate members, who walked out of Wednesday’s proceedings, expressed outrage that the current administration had failed miserably to combat terrorism, which had reached the doorsteps of the seat of power in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
The senior lawyers praised the move in separate interviews with Tracknews over the weekend…Continue Reading
The SANs – Mr Femi Falana, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Mallam Ahmed Raji, Reverend John Baiyeshea, Mr Dayo Akinlaja, and Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa – justified the federal lawmakers’ ultimatum to President Buhari.
Some of the senior lawyers who described the lawmakers’ threat as a “wake-up call” for the president, however, expressed serious doubts about the lawmakers’ ability to carry out their threat.
Ozekhome called the lawmakers’ actions “perfectly legal.”
It has even arrived too late. They should have done this more than two years ago, when he showed no signs of improvement in his leadership capacity or governance style after his second election. You can’t give what you don’t have (nemo dat quod non habet).
Ozekhome, on the other hand, stated that the ninth National Assembly is insufficient to carry out this threat.
“It will vanish into thin air.” It has no teeth, not even gum, to bite with. It will never be able to muster the two-thirds majority votes required under Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution to carry out the impeachment threat; otherwise, President Muhammadu Buhari has done more than enough to merit impeachment,” Ozekhome said.
He identified some of the evidence of Buhari’s failure as prostrate, insecurity, and insecurity.
“Do you not realize that Nigeria has been classified as a failed state, with non-state actors dictating to Buhari’s legitimately elected government?” Do you not realize that Abuja, the federal capital, is no longer safe, with bandits and Boko Haram freely roaming the streets, bulldozing their way into Kuje prison and releasing fellow inmates?” Ozekhome explained.
Falana, for one, claimed that Buhari’s administration’s efforts “are insufficient because they have not yielded positive results.” As a result, the President’s resignation is being sought, as he expresses a desire to return home.”
He questioned the opposition senators’ seriousness about impeaching the president, as they have threatened.
“If they had wanted to begin impeachment proceedings against the President, they would have signed and served an impeachment notice in accordance with Section 143 of the Constitution,” he said.
They refused to sign the notice.
“Because the APC controls both chambers of the National Assembly, the impeachment may fail,” the senior lawyer observed.
Adegboruwa cited Section 14(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) to back up his support for the impeachment threat against Buhari, describing it as “confirmation of the reality of his government’s failure.”
“It is hereby, accordingly, declared that: (a) sovereignty belongs to the people of Nigeria, from whom government derives all its powers and authority through this Constitution; (b) the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government; and (c) the participation of the people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.”
He claimed that Buhari’s administration had failed to fulfill its statutory obligations to the people of the federation, citing heinous cases of insecurity in all states.
Adegboruwa defined federal legislators as “people who represent their constituents in the National Assembly.” Because of the insecurity in our country, they can instill fear in the minds of everyone. This implies that the government has failed.
“There is no element of reasonable security assurance anywhere in this country.” That has not worked. This means that no government exists. If there is a government, it has failed to fulfill its statutory duty to the people.”
While justifying the lawmakers’ threat to remove the president, Adegboruwa noted that the call to remove the president should have come sooner due to the failure of government, particularly at the federal level.
“The call is justified,” he said. It has my support. And it has the support of a sizable number of Nigerians. We are currently at a standstill. People are unable to sleep. They are no longer free to travel. They are no longer able to farm.
“Because bandits, insurgents, and terrorists have taken over, there is nothing people can do reasonably with some level of assurance.” They intend to kidnap the president. Every day, they work toward that goal.”
The senior lawyer urged civil society actors, human rights activists, professional bodies, and Nigerians to “rise and intensify the campaign to remove incompetent leadership.”
“Civil society organizations should play a significant role in the campaign to remove the president.” I also urge Nigerians to become more aware and involved in holding the government accountable.”
Similarly, Raji stated that the threat was a positive development if it caused the president to recognize his responsibility to protect lives and property.
“The current state of insecurity is cause for grave concern.” To reverse the trend, every effort must be made. It is a good strategy by the distinguished senators if it takes the threat of impeachment to wake everyone up. “I hope we can resolve the security issues quickly for the sake of all of us,” he said.
“I don’t believe they sincerely desired impeachment.” They wanted to express their utter dissatisfaction with the current state of insecurity. And I believe that has been accomplished,” he added.
Baiyeshea, for his part, observed that there is a lot of rage in the country because the situation is terrible, with terrorists and bandits taking over the government.
While stating that the government appears ridiculously helpless, he also stated that its failure has left Nigerians in a state of hopelessness.
“The more annoying and disturbing thing is that in this state of anomie, the President is always traveling out of the country,” he lamented.
Baiyeshea stated that the National Assembly’s call for the President’s impeachment is justified.
“However, I will say that, aside from serving as a ‘wake-up call to the President,’ the call for impeachment will serve no useful purpose.” The people making the call are simply having fun in the gallery. They are also a part of our country’s problem,” he added.
“They live in their comfort zones, earning big bucks for doing nothing in a country with a bad economy.”
So it is not in their mouths to demand the president’s impeachment.
Akinlaja responded, saying, “When it is remembered that Section 14 of the Constitution prescribes that the welfare and security of the people shall be the primary purpose of government, it is bound to be understood that the President, as the chief executive and commander in chief, has a constitutional duty to ensure adequate welfare and security for the people.”
“An unavoidable consequence of this scenario is that failure to provide welfare and security for the people is a violation of the Constitution and may qualify for gross misconduct, which may result in the removal of a President.” The caveat here is that the National Assembly is the sole arbiter of what constitutes gross misconduct warranting the President’s removal.”
“If the National Assembly determines that the President has failed to provide welfare and security, there is a legitimate basis for its members to invoke their prerogative to remove the President on that basis,” he says. In plain terms, the national lawmakers are correct in taking the steps they have taken to give the President the benefit of buckling up in terms of security or risking the initiation of his removal process at the expiration of the ultimatum.”