By Abdullahi Mohammed
In what seems to be another twist by the two arms of govt, the senate has summoned attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami over alleged violations of human rights and provisions of the constitution by the executive arm of government.
Mr Malami is expected to brief the senators on the basis for President Muhammadu Buhari’s “controversial” executive orders.
The resolution of the upper legislative chamber was sequel to a motion sponsored by David Umaru, senator representing Niger east.
Last week, Buhari signed an executive order seeking to restrain owners of assets under probe from carrying out further transactions on such properties.
Mixed reactions have trailed the order.
While moving the motion on Wednesday, Umaru accused the executive of usurping the lawmaking functions of the national assembly.
“Executive orders have also effectively usurped legislative and judicial powers of the national assembly and the judiciary as enshrined respectively under sections 4 and 6 of the constitution,” Umaru said.
“There is lack of accountability for human rights violations by security agencies and other militant elements including armed herdsmen, heavy-handed violent responses to peaceful protests as exemplified by previous crackdown an agitator for the Independent State of Biafra (1908) and the recent violent clashes between the police and suspected members of the IMN who were protesting the release of their leader, lbrahim EL-Zakzaki in Abuja and Kaduna respectively.”
He added that the country’s democratic credentials had become questionable as a result of the alarming cases of “alleged state-inspired human rights violations and consistent constitutional infractions perpetrated by agencies of government.”
On his part, Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, said executive orders should comply with the country’s laws.
“We may be comfortable today because we occupy this office but when we are out of this place, we are likely to fall victims,” the senator said.
Contributing to the debate, Eyinnaya Abaribe, senator representing Abia south, said the country is in trouble under the current administration.
“If this hallowed chamber cannot speak up here, then we might as well pack up. We are in trouble under this particular regime and it is our right under the constitution to fight for our human rights,” Abaribe said.
The upper legislative chamber urged the federal government to desist from violating the principle of separation of powers and adopt the rule of law as the guiding principle of government actions.
It also urged to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate all cases of human rights abuse allegedly committed by the security agencies.
No date was given as to when Malami will appear before the lawmakers.