FOUNDER of Afe Babalola University in Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), has condemned the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before the National Assembly to explain the country’s security challenges.
Babalola said President Buhari was ill-advised by the Attorney-General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami (SAN) as well as some governors of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to cancel the invitation he had earlier agreed to honour.
The eminent lawyer spoke on Sunday at ABUAD in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, while receiving an Award of Excellence given to him by the Akure branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) under the chairmanship of Rotimi Olorunfemi.
He noted that the National Assembly had the power to invite the President to answer questions on any issue affecting Nigerians but could not issue summons on him, unlike other public officials, due to his constitutional immunity.
“It is disheartening and saddening that President Buhari refused to appear before the National Assembly to address issues germane to the livelihood of Nigerians. If the Parliament invites the President, it is a legal obligation for him to appear before it. I don’t know whether they summon him, but I thought they would have invited him.
“If he was summoned, then that gives room for disobedience. But if it was an invitation, he ought to have appeared by way courtesy to those people. After all, the National Assembly is the legislative body of this country. They make the law and expect the President to carry out the law.
If I were in that position, I would have gone. Fortunately, he wanted to go and told the whole world that he was going to appear until he was ill-advised not to go,” Babalola added.