16 Feb 2015

Femi Falana accuses President Jonathan of violating Nigerian laws

By using a soldier as his Aide-De-Camp, ADC, President Goodluck Jonathan is violating Nigerian lawyers, a lawyer has said.

Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, stated this on Saturday during a sit out organised by a pro-democracy group, Nigerians United for Democracy, at the Gani Fawehimi Park in Lagos.

The lawyer, who said Mr. Jonathan is breaching the constitution by several of his actions, also said the president was wrong by stating during a media chat that he could remove the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Attahiru Jega, from office.

He said even though the president nominated the Mr. Jega, his nomination and removal of the INEC chairman is subject to approval of the Senate.
“If the president wants to do so (remove the INEC chairman), he will go to the Senate with an address, itemizing why he is desirous to remove Jega,” he said. “And I can assure you, there are no cogent reasons, no compelling reasons to ask for Professor Jega’s removal.”
Mr. Falana urged the election chief to use the postponement of the election to put his house in order, adding that Mr. Jega’s office “is not under control of anybody including the president. Nobody, including the NSA or the service chief can remove Jega”.

While addressing the gathering on the president’s ADC, Mr. Falana said the president’s action violates Section 419 of the Police Act which states that the president shall have as his Aide De Camp a police offer not bellow the rank of a superintendent of police.
“We also want to join issues with the president who said in his presidential media chat that he is guarded by soldiers, and he is the only one in the country that is guarded by soldiers; if anybody attacks him those soldiers can kill and nothing will happen,” the activist said.

“We want to tell the President and Commander in Chief of Armed Forces that as far as the constitution is concerned, the president is not supposed to have soldiers in his convoy. The president is not supposed to have a soldier as Aide De Camp. Under Section 419 of the Police Act, the president shall have as his Aide De Camp a police officer not below the rank of a Superintendent of Police, not a soldier. So we are asking the president to comply with the Police Act by having as Aide De Camp a police officer.

“This is important for all of us. In the Second Republic, when we had the president then, Alhaji Shehu Shagari had a police officer as aide de camp for four years, today all the governors in Nigeria have police as their aide de camp. The president, when he was a vice president had a police officer as his aide de camp. It was because General Obasanjo who had a soldier attached to him as a retired general, that was why the man was taking a soldier all over the place. It is embarrassing that that is what our president is trying to copy. It’s a dangerous thing,” he said.
Credit: Micheal Abimboye/Premium Times

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