Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) has faulted the National Assembly over some impeachable issues raised against President Muhammadu Buhari.
He also said any senator or a member of the House of Representatives accused of any wrongdoing must be investigated by the appropriate agency.
He said he could not come to terms on why the National Assembly passed a vote of no confidence on Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris.
Malami who bared his mind on Wednesday night while featuring on a Channels TV programme, “The Core”, anchored by Kadaria Ahmed, said instead of the National Assembly challenging Buhari on insecurity and unemployment, it should realise that it failed to pass the 2018 budget on time.
“Issues were raised by the National Assembly during their session that they think constituted perhaps misconduct, but then within the context of the issues raised, we need to reassess them. Let us take, for example, the issue of insecurity or perhaps the issue that borders on unemployment, among others.
“For the past seven months, for example, the Executive placed the budget before the National Assembly for passage. For instance, you have around N1trillion that was intended to address insecurity but it has just been passed.
“On unemployment, over N900 billion was embedded in the budget and meant for social investment programme of the Federal Government. Within seven months period, senators, for instance, were taking over N3billion as wages within the seven months while the social security investment meant for the masses was not attended to.”
On the allegations against some members of the National Assembly by the police and security agencies, Malami said “My immediate reaction to it is that you have to look at the issues and not the personalities. The time is right in this country when we have to start separating individuals from the institutions.
”Fundamental issues of consideration when an allegation is made is whether there is indeed an issue or not.
“If, for instance, someone is alleged to have committed an offence and there are reasonable grounds for suspicion, there should be investigation. Are we now saying that simply because he belongs to the legislature, Senate or House of Representatives, he should not be investigated simply because he belongs to that institution?”
Malami said oversight responsibility by the National Assembly was not open ended, stating that he could not come to terms with the reality of the declaration of the vote of no confidence on the IG by the National Assembly.
“Before analysing or coming to conclusion as to whether the oversight functions have been properly conducted by the National Assembly, I think the major consideration has to be situated within the context of the constitution. Within the purview of the constitution, if you look at Section 4 of the constitution alongside Section 88 of the constitution, I think the fundamental functions of the legislature is lawmaking within the context and spirit of Section 4 of the constitution and two, is oversight.
“The oversight function is not open-ended in all sincerity. Within the context of the workings of the ministries, departments and agencies, the major responsibility of the National Assembly is exposing corruption. That is the bottom line. I cannot in all sincerity come to terms with the reality of the declaration of the vote of no confidence against the IG, where to situate it within the context of the lawmaking responsibility of the National Assembly and within the context of exposing corruption.”
Malami said: ”We must within the context and spirit of democracy learn to operate within bounds of our respective constitutional rights, responsibilities.”