The National Assembly has been admonished to stop the impeachment move against President Muhammadu Buhari over the alleged purchase of $469 million Super Tucano jets without legislative approval.
The former Chairman of Labour Party (LP) Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, gave the advice in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday. Nwanyanwu said that though the action of the President may have breached the Constitution, he said that it was not enough to commence an impeachment process.
He insisted that commencing an impeachment process against the President would only heat up the polity. He therefore urged the lawmakers to find an alternative to impeachment. “The action is an infraction on the constitution of Nigeria and it has made the payment illegitimate.
“Yes the constitution has been infringed upon; yes the National Assembly has powers to question the President on that.
“The National Assembly can invoke the Constitution to remove the President and this is where I will plead with the legislature to tarry a while.
“Do not invoke Section 143 of the Constitution to remove President Buhari; we have too many problems in the country today and it will not be comfortable to begin impeachment process,” he said.
The lawyer, however, said if the illegality was allowed to go, a bad precedent would be set for more infringement of the Constitution in the future.
Nwanyanwu said that trillions of naira was being paid for fuel subsidies without appropriation saying, “these are serious constitutional issues.”
The LP chieftain blamed the aides and lieutenants of the President for not advising him against spending state money without National Assembly approval.
According to him, Nigeria is still looking for patriots as patriotism is not loyalty to the President but loyalty to the country.
He said that the National Assembly remained the true representative of the people and should not be taken for granted.
“Everybody knows that monies cannot be spent without legislative approval, are they working for his success or for his down fall.
“Even the Vice President is there, he is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a Professor of law, why did he not advice his boss.
“We should stop all the hide and seek, the impression created now is that something is fishy about the purchase and that is why they avoided the National Assembly.
“Let those around him stop pushing him deeper into the pit when they should help him come out and swim freely,” he added.
Nwanyanwu said that Buhari had ample time to seek legislative approval for the purchase as it was not a matter of urgent national importance but did not.
According to him, government is not village meeting or family meeting and we cannot condone illegality for expediency.
Nwanyanwu said that he is against what the President had done, calling it an `impeachable offense’ but he urged the legislators not to heat up the polity.