- Chief Mike Ozekhome describes the eighth National Assembly as the best the country has ever witnessed
- Ozekhome says the National Assembly under Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara proved that the legislature should be independent of the executive
- The senior lawyer wants the leadership of the ninth National Assembly to learn from the successes recorded by the eighth session
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Chief Mike Ozekhome, on Thursday, June 6, rated the National Assembly under the leadership of Bukola Saraki as Senate president, and Yakubu Dogara as speaker of the House of Representatives as the best the country has ever witnessed.
The eighth National Assembly ended on June 6, with a valedictory sitting after a four year term.
In a statement made available to Legit.ng, Ozekhome said one major achievement of the eighth National Assembly was that it fought for and proved the independence of the legislature from the executive arm of government.
He said apart from its success, the National Assembly beat imposition of leadership insisting on producing its own principal officers in accordance with section 50 of the 1999 constitution.
“The 8th NASS has been the best so far in the legislative history of Nigeria, in terms of sheer productivity and daring insistence on being truly independent of an overbearing and rampaging executive that did everything to annex it to its apron strings.
“Right from the emergence of its principal officers when it insisted it was its inalienable right to produce them in accordance with section 50 of the 1999 constitution and outside the dictatorial, whimsical, capricious and arbitrary desire of any political party as if we were operating a parliamentary system of government, it has held sacrosanct, the hallowed doctrine of separation of powers, as ably propounded by great philosophers of yore and famously dilated upon in 1748 by the great French philisopher, Baron de Montesque,” he said in the statement.
The lawyer added that in the entire legislative history of Nigeria, the eighth National Assembly passed the greatest number of pro-masses motions, resolutions and bills.
He added that the eighth National Assembly incubated and threw up the most daring, courageous and brave legislators that spoke truth to power and authority, at the perilous risk to their lives, families and properties.
“Future NASS should and must take a cue from the eighth NASS, that it is an independent arm of government specifically created by section 4 of the 1999 constitution, to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Nigeria.
“Though expected to cooperate with the executive, it must not do so at the expense of its own independence as an arm of government that participates in the inbuilt constitutional checks and balances,” Ozekhome said adding that the legislature showed it was not rubber stamp.
He said any National Assembly worthy of its name like the eighth session, must rise and use its oversight powers under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 constitution to check the excesses of the executive arms of government, “especially of the usually intolerant, overhearing, dictatorial, arm-twisting and imperious executive that controls the coercive apparachick of state power and forces.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that Senate president, Bukola Saraki identified either Senator Ali Ndume or Ahmad Lawan as likely to replace him as Senate president.
The president said this on Thursday, June 6 during the valedictory session of the 8th senate.
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