Leke Baiyewu, Abuja The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has described the continued disregard and disdain for the National Assembly as a recipe for anarchy. Ekweremadu decried that despite that legislature is an independent arms of government, Nigerians were now using other arms to frustrate its activities. […]
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has described the continued disregard and disdain for the National Assembly as a recipe for anarchy.
Ekweremadu decried that despite that legislature is an independent arms of government, Nigerians were now using other arms to frustrate its activities.
He warned against undermining of the legislature and other critical institutions of democracy.
The Deputy Senate President listed that frustrations being faced by the National Assembly as including extra-budgetary expenditures, disregard for legislative resolutions and summons as well as and the confirmation powers of the legislature.
These, he stated, were the noticeable factors undermining the efforts by Nigeria’s legislatures to ensure good governance, security, peace and happiness of Nigerians.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu made these known on Monday at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Onicha Uboma, Imo State, where he delivered the 9th Synod Lecture of the Anglican Communion, Okigwe South Diocese, entitled ‘The Legislature and the Search for Peace and Happiness in Nigeria.’
He said, “Although legislative resolutions do not carry the weight of law, they are nevertheless a key medium for stating the position of the Nigerian people on a subject matter through their elected representatives. Sadly, there is a blatant disregard for resolutions of the legislature across all levels of government.
“Certain executive appointments need confirmation by the people through their representatives because two good heads are better than one. Besides, the nation could be poorly run and tilt towards dictatorship if the president or governor has the absolute power to hire and fire.
“Also, in the course of exercising its powers of oversight and investigation, the legislature often has cause to invite executive officers. Unfortunately, Nigerians have continued to observe with utter dismay how some executive officers not only disdain legislative resolutions, but also shun legislative invitations.
“There is yet an emerging dangerous twist. People now rush to the courts to file processes in order to evade legislative summons. Some also go as far as seeking an order of court restraining the legislature from making laws or investigating a matter before it.”
According to Ekweremadu, there is separation of powers in the Constitution and one arm of government cannot hinder another from performing its responsibilities.
“I cannot imagine a situation where the legislature passes a resolution that the courts should not sit or discharge their constitutional functions. This is a recipe for anarchy,” he said.
He cited the example of the invasion of the Senate chamber by unknown men and the recent invasion and vandalisation of the premises of the Rivers State High Court, noting that they are “glaring threats to the nation’s democracy.”
He emphasised that lawmakers should not be made to legislate under duress and intimidation.
The Deputy Senate President said, “It still baffles Nigerians and the world that the hoodlums beat all the security presence at the National Assembly and the vicinity of the Three Arms Zone, disappeared with Senate’s mace, and nothing has been heard about them. We are moving on as if nothing happened.
“This affront to democracy has also been extended to the High Court of Rivers State.
“Although the Senate’s mace has been recovered, anything less than apprehending and prosecuting the culprits and masterminds will not augur well for our democracy.”