- The House of Representatives claim President Buhari did not seek approval of the National Assembly before signing a treaty with Russia on the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company
- A lawmaker in the House, Uzoma Nkem-Abonta says section 12 of the 1999 constitution stipulates that no treaty between the federation and any other country shall have the force of law except it is enacted into law by the National Assembly
- Abonta notes that it is necessary for the statutory provisions regarding the ratification and implementation of treaties to be followed
The House of Representatives has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of breaching the 1999 constitution (as amended) by signing a treaty with Russia on the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Company without the approval of the National Assembly.
The Tribune reports that the House made the accusation on Tuesday, November 26, after it adopted a motion sponsored by Hon Uzoma Nkem-Abonta, who faulted the president for declining assent to the Ajaokuta Steel completion fund bill passed by the 8th Assembly.
The lawmaker noted that section 12 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, provides that no treaty between the federation and any other country shall have the force of law except to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly.
He said this provision of the constitution was breached when Buhari signed a government-to-government agreement with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, at the recently concluded Russian -Africa summit in Sochi for the Russian Engineering and Construction Group, MetProm to undertake necessary work to bring Ajaokuta Steel Company into operation.
While commending the president for taking steps towards ensuring the full operation of the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Abonta said it was necessary for the statutory provisions regarding the ratification and or implementation of treaties or international agreements to be followed so as to streamline government efforts carried out by its distinct arms for the overall benefits of the people.
The Nation reports that another lawmaker, Tobi Okechukwu, said there was a need for the executive and the legislative arms of government to work unitedly to ensure that the Ajaokuta Steel Company is completed,
Following deliberation on the issue, the House mandated its joint committees on steel and treaties, protocols and agreements to interface with the federal ministry of mines and steel development in order to ensure ratification of the agreement and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Olamilekan Adegbite, the minister of mines and steel development, on Sunday, November 24, said that President Muhammadu Buhari has given marching orders to his ministry for the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Adegbite made this known in Abuja to newsmen on the proposed Nigerian solid minerals downstream workshop scheduled to hold Monday, December 2.
The minister who spoke through his special adviser on special duty, Sunny Ekozin, said the ministry had been on its toes to ensure that the presidential order is carried out.
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