The National Assembly on Wednesday challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to approach the court if he feels that his power is being encroached based on the decision of the lawmakers to scrutinise the implementation of the public works programme.
The Senate spokesman, Senator Basiru Ajibola, made this known while briefing newsmen on the issue that transpired between the lawmakers and the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Productivity, Festus Keyamo.
Ajibola said: “The National Assembly has the power or order to direct.
“We are not encroaching
“If the President feels that his power is being encroached, they can approach the court of law.
“What we are saying is this: this project the way you are looking at it, it is as if it is an exclusive presidential project.
“The conception of the programme, its approval and its funding is with the considered opinion of the National Assembly because we believe it is going to be beneficial for the purpose of addressing the challenges of COVID-19.
“So your perspective on encroaching on the powers of the President, there is no exclusivity in terms of any programme that is to be implemented except the National Assembly is not part of Government.
“Government as defined by the 1999 constitution has three components: Legislative powers, section 4; Executive powers, section 5; and the Judicial power, section 6.
“It is the totality of these that constitute Government.
“So when you are saying Government is doing a programme, it is not President Muhammadu Buhari that is doing the program.
“It is the Government of the people, implementation, appropriation and execution all rolled into one, there is no dichotomy such as encroaching on the powers of the President.
“Assuming the National Assembly is opposed to the programme, we could have not approved it.
“You cannot appropriate, but we want to be sure that names don’t just fly.
“When journalists also raised issues about the humanitarian social register and the National Assembly intervened, there is more transparency to it.
“Our people will also ask questions.
“This 1000 people: how were they generated?
“Who set up the selection committee?
“What are the modalities for recruitment?
“What are the minimum requirements for recruitment”
“It cannot be left to the whims of a person or a branch of a government.
“It has to be a totality of the Government, which is the Executive and the Legislative arms.”