Will the National Assembly succeed in using the constitution against President Muhammadu Buhari‘s health? Emerging reports say that some federal lawmakers in the National Assembly have begun moves to invoke the constitution to force President Muhammadu Buhari to reveal his health status. The Guardian reports that lawmakers may try to call for the invocation of section 144 (1) of the 1999 Constitution in the bid to get President Buhari’s health status revealed. The move is actively supported by members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the report, efforts to invoke the said section reached its peak last week when an attempt was made by the chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts Kingsley Chinda to present the move under matters of urgent importance on the floor of the House of Representatives.
The move was however blocked by Speaker Yakubu Dogara on the grounds that issue was weighty and had grave political implications. NAIJ.com gathered that further reports say that this week, some PDP lawmakers may either represent the issue as a motion or present it as a matter of privilege on either the floor of the Senate or the House of Representatives. A draft of the proposed motion, The Guardian says, specifically expressed concern over the president’s poor health status and the secrecy it has been subjected terming it “unsatisfactory and falls short of global practices.’’
The report however quoted rights activist and constitutional lawyer Mike Ozekhome as saying it would be tough to 28 out of President Buhari’s 42 ministers to invoke the constitutional provision even if the motion sails through at the National Assembly. It was reported earlier that President Buhari, on Sunday night, May 7, received the leadership of the National Assembly in Senate president Bukola Saraki and the Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara just before his departure for the medical trip to London. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was also present at the meeting.
The president shared the photos of his meeting on his Twitter page and wrote: “This evening at home I received Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, ahead of my Trip to London tonight.” He added: “I have absolute confidence that Government will continue to function smoothly and normally while I’m away. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”