A Senior Advocate of Nigeria has said that the declaration of a state of emergency over suspected herdsmen killing in Benue state is legally impossible.
The lawyer, Sebastine Hon, said speculations on such declaration by the presidency is would be baseless.
In a statement released on Wednesday, January 17, said an attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari to remove the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, in order to declare a state of emergency in Benue would lack constitutional backing.
Hon said: “ The social media is agog with speculations that the Presidency will soon declare a state of emergency in Benue State. Some of the media postings are suggestive of the ‘power’ of the President to overthrow the governmental structures in that state and to replace same with a sole administrator.
“Such speculation, though social media blogs, cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand, in view, especially, of the orchestrated violent demonstrations in Makurdi on Saturday by the Hausa-Fulani, two days after the burial of the victims of the New Year massacre.
“The power to proclaim a state of emergency by the Presidency is provided for by Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution; and there is nothing in that provision, clear or latent, which imbues the President, or any authority for that matter, with any scintilla of power to remove or overthrow elected or appointed state officials. There being no such enabling provision, therefore, such arbitrary power cannot be implied; and if exercised, will be clearly illegal and unlawful,” the statement said.
The senior lawyer said Section 1(2) of the Constitution provides in clear terms that the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
Hon also said that a state House of Assembly has its constitutional lifespan, which cannot be trammeled or tempered with by any person or authority.
“The phrases ‘any person or group of persons’ and ‘any part thereof’ above mean that no authority or group of persons shall, under any guise whatsoever, take control of, in this case, Benue State, except as provided for in the Constitution itself.
“And of course, the only way a state governor can be removed from office or can vacate his office is by impeachment, death, sickness of such a magnitude as to impair him from performing the functions of his office, or by resignation.
“Under our constitutional jurisprudence, therefore, both the appointer and the appointee to the office or position of Sole Administrator of a state will be acting in flagrant breach Section 1(2) and other relevant provisions of the Constitution,” Hon added.
Hitng.com.ng earlier reported that Ortom has reportedly thrown his weight behind the call for restructuring of Nigeria.
The development came after leaders of the Ohaneze, Afenifere, Niger-Delta and the Middle Belt vowed to support the state when the need arises.
The leaders made this promise after they unanimously declared their support for the anti-grazing law.
$11.489m: EFCC rejects Patience Jonathan’s settlement offer
Patience Jonathan, former Nigeria first lady aim to settle out of court the dispute between her and
EFCC over the strange payment of $11,489,069.03 into her domiciliary accounts has been rejected.
TheNation reports that EFCC refused and insisted that she appears before a court and enter a plea bargain in line with the laws of the land, noting that this is the only way the court will be carried along.
BREAKING: PDP NWC members visit Babangida’s Minna home
Consultations for the 2019 general elections have begun in earnest as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national leadership of has been consulting with elders of the party in recent times.
Today, the party’s National Working Committee lead by the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, visited the home of former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), in Minna, Niger state.
Among those in the PDP NWC delegation to Babangida’s home are the deputy national chairmen for the north and south, Senator Gamawa Babawo Garba and Elder Yemi Akinwonmi.
Others are the national secretary of the party; Senator Ibrahim Tsauri, national publicity secretary; Kola Ologbodiyan, national legal adviser; Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem among others.
Two days ago, the PDP national chairman led the NWC members to a consultative meeting with Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
He recently boasted that the party is re-positioning to take over power in the 2019 general elections for a better Nigeria.
He said this during a grand rally, as part of activities to mark Governor Seriake Dickson’s six years in office in Yenagoa on Wednesday, February 14.
Governor Yari says police failed to act on warning before attack
Yari said security agencies have failed to tackle the problem of cross border bandits and terrorists tormenting communities in Zamfara.
Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari has accused the police of ignoring the government’s alert of the plot by armed bandits to invade communities in the state.
On the night of Wednesday, February 14, 2018, gunmen stormed Zurmi local government area of the state, killing 39 people.
Speaking on Friday, February 16, when he led five Northern Governors on a sympathy visit to the palace of the Emir of Zurmi, Yari said the state government gave security agencies gave security agencies heads up 24 hours before the attack
He said the security operatives have failed to tackle the problem of cross border banditry and terrorism tormenting communities in the area.
He said, “Whatever humanly possible that needed to be done, we as a government have done to mitigate this disaster. But it does appear that security agencies are failing in their responsibilities.
“I feel let down facing the people of this state whenever I remember the promise I made to them that when they elect President Muhammadu Buhari into power, these killings will end. But unfortunately, things are now getting worse.
“As such, I urge you security agencies to up the ante so as not to lose this war. If you let us take issues on our hands, anarchy will reign which is not what we hope us.
“On this particular incidence, we had intelligence reports 24 hours before it happened that the bandits were grouping and ready to attack. I alerted the security agencies but unfortunately they sent inadequate personnel to confront these people from where they came from.”
In his remarks, the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, buttressed Yari’s submission.
He said if not for the bravery of vigilante groups who confronted the bandits, the casualty figures would have been higher.
Recalling the incidents, the emir alleged that 600 bandits attempted to invade Zurmi but were repelled by vigilantes.
Emir Abubakar, who was said to be visibly angry, said, “They came on 200 motorcycles with three persons on each bike. Each of them was well-armed. We stationed 500 vigilante members who stood their ground and gallantly fought the bandits. Unfortunately, these same bandits turned their anger on travelers and other villagers on their way here, that was why we had 39 people killed.
“These terrorists are known to us. Their major hide-out is in a village called Kagara, very close to Bafarawa in Sokoto State, and a few kilometers from Shinkafi in Zamfara State. But despite several appeal to security agencies to storm the area, our appeals have failed.
“I need to state here that majority of weapons used by bad people in this country are brought in from this area.
I had reason to personally inform Zamfara State Director of SSS sometimes back of a large cache of weapons being brought into the country but no concrete action was taken until the containers were moved away.
“I am happy that other Northern Governors are here because we believe the solution to this problem lies in cooperation among all of you.
“I don’t need to repeat here that we need a full battalion of soldiers here and in areas surrounding Maru, Maradun, Shinkafi and Zurmi LGAs.”
He added that the people have been pushed to the limit and a negative reaction from them will have a devastating consequence on the continued peaceful coexistence of all communities in the area.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima urged the people not to lose patience.
He sympathized with the victims and prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest.
Other Governors on the entourage, apart from Shettima and Yari, were Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi and Umar Al-Makura of Nasarawa States.
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