Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has faulted the request by the National Assembly that President Muhammadu Buhari briefs it on the growing security challenge in the country and Federal Government’s efforts at containing it.
Malami, who argued that Buhari has recorded tremendous success, said that the President cannot be compelled to reveal the nation’s security strategies or comment publicly on the operations of the nation’s armed forces.
He contended that the legislators acted outside their constitutional powers when they purported to summon the President to speak publicly on issues bordering on national security and operations of the armed forces.
The AGF’s spokesman, Dr. Umar Gwandu, quoted him, in a statement on Wednesday as saying: “Mr. President has enjoyed Constitutional privileges attached to the office of the President including exclusivity and confidentiality investiture in security operational matters, which remains sacrosanct.
“The National Assembly has no Constitutional Power to envisage or contemplate a situation where the President would be summoned by the National Assembly on the operational use of the Armed Forces.
“The right of the President to engage the National Assembly and appear before it is inherently discretionary in the President and not at the behest of the National Assembly.
“The management and control of the security sector is exclusively vested in the President by Section 218 (1) of the Constitution as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces including the power to determine the operational use of the Armed Forces.
“An invitation that seeks to put the operational use of the armed forces to a public interrogation is indeed taking the constitutional rights of law-making beyond bounds.
“As the Commander in Chief, the President has exclusivity on security and has confidentiality over security. These powers and rights he does not share.
“So, by summoning the President on national security operational matters, the House of Representative operated outside constitutional bounds.
“President’s exclusivity of constitutional confidentiality investiture within the context of the constitution remains sacrosanct.
“President Muhamamdu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has recorded tremendous success in containing the hitherto incessant bombing, colossal killings, wanton destruction of lives and property that bedeviled the country before attaining the helm of affairs of the country in 2015.
“The confidentiality of strategies employed by the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not open for public exposure in view of security implications in probable undermining of the war against terror.
“The fact that President Muhammadu Buhari was instrumental to the reclaiming of over 14 Local Governments previously controlled by the Boko Haram in North-East is an open secret; the strategies for such achievement are not open for public expose.”
Malami, who condoled with the bereaved and sympathized with the victims of the associated insecurity in the country, contended that national security is not about publicity and the nation’s security architecture cannot be exposed for the sake of getting publicity.