- The National Assembly deserves a strong and professional legal unity
- This is the submission of the Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives
- The speaker noted that strengthening the department would ensure quality copies of draft legislation
Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has called for the expansion and professionalisation of the National Assembly legal department.
Gbajabiamila said the National Assembly legal department should be strengthened to deliver on its mandate.
One of the core mandates of the department, he noted, is ensuring clean copies of draft legislation emanate from the federal legislature.
He advocated that the department should also be manned by professionals and expanded for optimal performance.
The minister made the statement when he received the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami on Thursday, October 14.
“There's no reason we should not have a Senior Advocate in our legal department. Being a very technical field, if you populate your legal department with, probably, people who are straight from the law school, who don't have the requisite experience, the result would be obvious.
“If you notice, a lot of these bills were sent back because the errors were almost embarrassing, sometimes grammatical errors. For instance, one punctuation error can change the meaning of a whole provision of the bill,” he said.
Gbajabiamila also called for the need to explore vetoing of bills, stressing that it happens everywhere in the world and there nothing is embarrassing about it.
He reiterated that the 9th Assembly is concerned about having a harmonious working relationship other arms of government, adding that it would help in deepening the nation's democracy for the betterment of Nigerians.
Speaking earlier, the minister said his visit was anchored on the need to explore harmonious working relationships with the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, a research team led by former INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega has rated the 8th National Assembly as the most productive legislative house in the history of Nigeria.
The study assessed the National Assembly between 2015 and 2019 and drew lessons for the current set of federal legislators in the 9th National Assembly.
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