An Abuja-based legal practitioner, Hameed Ajibola Jimoh, has stated that the president does not have the constitutional powers to commence the process of restructuring Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in his nationwide broadcast referred Nigerians calling for the restructuring of the country to the National Assembly and the Council of State, as the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.
In a statement yesterday, Jimoh backed the president, explaining that the matter is a constitutional issue, which requires constitutional amendment by the National Assembly under the doctrine of separation of powers.
He called on Nigerians to put pressure “on the person(s) or body(ies) conferred with that power by either section 8 or 9 or both sections of the constitution, so that the agitations for the restructuring will be in conformity with the provisions of the constitution.”
He stated that the provisions of Section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, divides legislative powers between the National Assembly for the federation and the House of Assembly for the state in the exclusive and concurrent legislative lists.
“It then means that the current situation whereby the Senate – an arm of the two arms of the legislature – rejected devolution of powers to state governments is a mistake and misunderstanding and hindrance to the restructuring of Nigeria mantra.
“It is believed that the current situation of the country testifies to the fact that it is in the national interest to do so. However, it is suggested that necessary machinery should be institutionalised to avoid an abuse of those powers as ‘power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely’,” he said.