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Nigeria Lawmakers calls out SGF Again, Read what they said

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A member of the House of Representative, Mr Obasa Tajudeen, on Tuesday in Abuja condemned failure of some members of the executive to honour Senate invitation.

He particularly told newsmen that failure of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, to honour senate invitation negated democratic tenet of checks and balances.

Lawal was invited by Senate Ad hoc Committee on Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East to clarify his involvement in the controversial award of contracts for the rehabilitation of communities ravaged by insurgency in the region.

But, he wrote to the Senate that he will not be able to appear before the committee on the ground that he had gone to court to challenge the invitation and other issues.

Similarly, the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (retd), refused to honour an invitation by the Senate.

The lawmakers wanted Ali explain the rationale for Customs proposal of a retrospective payment of vehicle duty by owners and not importers or dealers.

He was advised to appear before the lawmakers in his comptroller-general’s uniform.

After a botched attempt, Ali declined further appearance before the senators, citing advice by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as reason.

He had told the media that the minister, Mr Abubakar Malami, had written to the Senate, urging it to cease further action as the issue on the legality or otherwise of his wearing uniform had been taken to court.

Malami explained that any further action on the matter would be subjudice.

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But the legislators ignored the letter and called for Ali’s resignation as Customs CG, saying that he was not fit for public office.

Tajudeen said that the actions of the two appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari violated the provision of the Constitution which empowered the National Assembly to invite any individual.

“We have three arms of government and we have separation of powers under the Constitution; so, the legislature is there to checkmate the executive while the Judiciary is there to checkmate the legislature.

“As it is, the legislature should not go beyond its boundaries, and so should the executive not exceed its boundaries.

“In a case whereby the legislature summons a member of the executive for investigative hearing, the person must answer, that is what the Constitution said.

“In this case where the SGF failed, it means there is something wrong,’’ he said.

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