Throwback: Senate Has No Power To Summon President, Governors – Femi Falana

Femi Falana

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana, has faulted the Senate for ordering the President to appear before it, saying it has no power to summon him as well as state governors.

He made this known when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Thursday.

Quoting Sections of the Constitution, he explained that “the President or the governor of a state cannot be summoned by the National Assembly (NASS).

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“There is no such power given to NASS by the Constitution to summon everybody,” he stated.

“It has given the President the discretion to address the National Assembly either jointly or separately on any matter of national importance.”

The senior lawyer also said: “the Senate didn’t get it right this time around. By virtue of Section 67 of the Constitution, the National Assembly or either chamber can summon a Minister when the affairs of his or her ministries are under consideration.

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“The only other occasion where a public officer can be summoned by the National Assembly is when proceedings are ongoing to expose corruption (Section 88) and when a law is being debated either with a view to amending it or to have a new law entirely.”

Speaking further, Mr Falana stated that the lawmakers can, however, fix areas of the Constitution perceived as weak, rather than going beyond its limits as such actions can subject the institution to ridicule.

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“What can be done, a constitutional review is ongoing, you can deal with the identified gaps but don’t go outside the limit of your powers. When you do that, you ridicule the institution and that is what is going on.”

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