- A petition addressed to the National Assembly through the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan is currently trending in legal circles
- The petition is against the current chairman of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Professor Jummai Audi
- Professor Audi has been accused of not following certain laid down procedures in running the commission
FCT, Abuja - A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Lygel Youths and Leadership Initiatives has written a petition against the chairman of the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Professor Jummai Audi.
According to the group, over there is an ongoing:
‘Flagrant breach of Nigerian Law Reform Commission Act and a brazen usurpation of power by the chairman of the commission’.
A copy of the petition seen by Legit.ng was dated Wednesday, May 25, and addressed to the National Assembly through the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
A copy was also sent to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, SAN, chairman Senate committee on judiciary and legal matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, and seven other stakeholders.
Legal fireworks expected?
The NGO’s director, legal and compliance, Olalekan Oladapo Esq who wrote on their behalf, threatened legal action if within 30 days' notice the issue is not addressed.
In the petition, they alleged that the commission saddled with the huge responsibility is hamstrung from carrying out its functions efficiently as provided in Section 5 of the Act.
The group stated that the chairman in asserting her position further extended her power by usurping the responsibility of the secretary of the commission as delegated by Section 11 of the same Act thereby taking over the accounting and auditing functions of the secretary.
They also accused Professor Audi of overturning the board at will, alleging that she disregarded the board as constituted severally thereby jettisoning the board’s quarterly meetings in line with Section 5 of the Act.
Citing Section 8 (1) (a) of the Act, the NGO insisted that it specifically provides for Section 11 of same Act, where according to the petition the secretary is also the accounting officer, who also accounts for the budget and financial estimates of the commission.
More allegations by the NGO
The petition noted:
“Based on the above provisions, it could be established that (i) there is a delineation of the role of the financial responsibility between the political head and the accounting officer of which such role is not contemplated for or combined in one person.
“Therefore, the chairman of the commission is undoubtedly, the political head, and the secretary is the accounting officer of the commission by virtue of Section 8 (1) (a) and 11 of the extant Act establishing the commission.”
In a related development, a recent media report indicates that the House of Representatives has summoned the minister of transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, and the management of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
According to the report, the minister and officials of the NPA are expected to give details of the revenue accruing to the agency as of December 31, 2016, amounting to N166,685,929,000.
The lawmakers also stated that the monies were not properly captured in the statement of account of the agency.
Meanwhile, the Federal Character Commission has debunked an online report alleging that it awarded a contract at the sum of N56,080,593.00 for a project.
The project was for the construction of a fence and gatehouse at its proposed training school in Katsina state around 2016.
In a statement sent to Legit.ng by its media unit on Thursday, June 24, the commission said the report only captured the content of an earlier audit observation which it had cleared.