Legislators Move to Strip Buhari of Some Powers

By Ikenga Chronicles October 14, 2016

Legislators Move to Strip Buhari of Some Powers

Members of the House of Representatives are not comfortable with some of the powers the president wields, and have therefore moved to adjust this. The effort is influenced by the recent  brouhaha caused by the controversial arrest of judges and the negative effect it is having on the judiciary.

The House has called for the involvement of the National Judicial Council (NJC), in the procedure for the removal of head of courts to avoid victimization by the executive. 

This was contained in a Bill, entitled “An act pursuant to Section 9(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to alter Section 292 (1) (A) and (i) (ii) to include the National Judicial Council in the procedure for the removal of heads of courts established by the Constitution under Section 6 (5)”, promoted by Garba Datti Muhammad, APC, Kaduna. Before now, the NJC can only recommend an erring judge to the President, but if the Bill is eventually passed, the body would be involved in the discipline or removal of any erring judge. 

Leading the debate on the Bill, which passed second reading on the floor of the House yesterday, Datti said the principal purpose of the proposed amendment “is to ensure that judicial officers serving as heads of courts are not victimised through removal by executive fiat, acting in concert with the legislature without any established or verifiable evidence.” He pointed out that the objective of the Bill was to “subject judicial personnel serving as heads of courts established under Section 6 (5) of the Constitution to be removed only upon the advice of National Judicial Council.” 

Exactly one week after the Department of State Services, DSS, arrested seven judges on suspicion of corrupt practices, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC,) revealed last night, that it was also probing no fewer than eight others for graft-related offences. Also being questioned by the agency are two court registrars, following petitions filed against them by aggrieved litigants over the conduct of the judges. 

This comes as the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, yesterday, denied insinuations of a rift between him and the EFCC.

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