Nigerians may have put Muhammadu Buhari in office but none of their elected representatives have the constitutional right to summon the president over security matters, a top government official says.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the comments after a failed bid by the House of Representatives to summon the president over the spate of insecurity in the country.
Malami, on Wednesday, issued a statement titled, “Buhari’s summons: NASS operates outside constitutional bounds”.
The statement read:
“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 Representative operated outside constitutional bounds.
“The President’s exclusivity of constitutional confidentiality investiture within the context of the constitution remains sacrosanct.
“Mr President enjoys constitutional privileges attached to the office of the President, including exclusivity and confidentiality investiture in security operational matters, which remains sacrosanct.
“The right of the President to engage the National Assembly and appear before it is inherently discretionary in the President and not at the behest of the National Assembly.
“President Muhammadu 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 bedevilled the country before taking the helm of affairs of the country in 2015.
“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 exposure in view of the security implications in probable undermining of the war against terror.”