In Secret Memo, AGF Malami Asks Buhari To Suspend Nigerian Constitution, Declare Martial Law
President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of plotting to declare a state of emergency in the country, according to Peoples Gazette that had access to a secret memo and official accounts.
It was reported that the minister of Justice and Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, had advised the President to suspend the fundamental rights of all Nigerians as guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution.
In the eight-page secret memo dated May 4, 2021, Mr Malami told Mr Buhari that insecurity across Nigeria has reached a level that could no longer be checked by existing democratic techniques, saying only a state of emergency promulgated by the president can help return the country to tranquillity.
“The essence of declaration is to allow for suspension of constitutional and legal bureaucratic bottlenecks pertaining to matters of National Security with particular regards to fundamental rights guaranteed under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and processes and procedures relating to procurements, among others,” the attorney-general said.
Mr Malami said the president should issue instruments of emergency and publish them in the federal gazette. Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila will be informed about the decision ahead of implementation, he added.
“To douse probable legal tension, it is important for the proclamation instrument of the statement of emergency to expressly provide for the suspension of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and its attendant enforcement rules,” Mr Malami wrote. “The suspension of rights pertaining to matters of national security will then give legal backing for the proclamation of the statement of emergency to be operational and effective without litigious or judicial distractions.”
In the early pages of the document, Mr Malami cited widespread acts of insecurity and blamed prominent separatist agitators like Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu for fueling the protracted crisis that has enveloped the country and aggravated the social and economic conditions of Nigerians.
The memo was endorsed to the president by National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and administration officials are divided on how to proceed with the advice.
“Clearly, different factions of our government have different positions on this alarming proposal,” a presidency official told The Gazette. “But everyone agrees that the AGF holds powerful sway over the president and it would be a miracle if the Constitution is not suspended as he recommended.”
Another official also within the presidency, who confirmed hearing about the memo but had not seen it before they were reached by The Gazette, said the president might have little resistance considering the potency of Mr Malami’s argument.
“The president is just saying they should act in the best interest of the country,” the official said. “Even as the president, he seemed to have given up on his own ability to get the AGF to back down.”
Source: Nigeria News
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