Nobody Is Above National Assembly Scrutiny – Lawan

Ahmed Lawan
Ahmed Lawan

The Senate president, Ahmed Lawan on Wednesday warned public office holders, especially appointees of the president to avoid needless confrontation with the national assembly committees, adding that nobody is above its scrutiny.

Lawan made this known during the plenary session while stressing that the constitution empowers the national assembly to summon anyone before its panel and committee.

His remark followed recent happenings where head of government agencies were reported to have walked out on the national assembly panel during hearing.

He said, “At the close of Senate plenary yesterday, I spoke on the need for the appointees of the President to avoid needless confrontations with the Committees of the National Assembly as nobody is above the scrutiny of the National Assembly.”

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“Engagements with Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government by the Committees of the National Assembly are carried out to serve public interest and in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“We want to work in harmony with the executive arm, but It takes both arms of Government to work together in a cordial and harmonious way. We are desirous of working together with the executive arm, and we expect that the Executive arm would be desirous of working with us.

“Nobody should feel that he is above the scrutiny of the National Assembly. The function of the National Assembly is enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Therefore, it is important that whoever takes public office also understands that there has to be this type of engagement on behalf of the Nigerian public.

“As a part of this engagement, we have mandated relevant Committees on Petroleum (Upstream and Downstream); and Gas to engage the Executive arm of Government, particularly the NNPC and DPR, on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to be submitted to the National Assembly.

“Such engagement between both arms of government would reduce the time needed to carry out legislative work on the bill when it is finally sent to the Legislature for consideration and passage.