The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says the National Assembly has no constitutional power to summon President Muhammadu Buhari to explain how he deploys the armed forces.
The House of Representatives had invited Buhari to address the House after the gruesome murder of rice farmers in Zabarmari in Borno State.
In a statement on Wednesday, Malami said ‘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’.
“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 because of security implications in the probable undermining of the war against terror.
“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.
“The management and control of the security sector are 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. President’s exclusivity of constitutional confidentiality investiture within the context of the constitution remains sacrosanct.”