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Obono-Obla faults Atiku's spokesman claim of restructuring Nig with Executive Order

 Chief Okoi Obono-Obla

Special Assistant on Prosecution to the President, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla has faulted the claim by Atiku Abubakar Campaign Spokesman, Segun Sowunmi that if elected President, Atiku will restructure Nigeria using Executive Order in six months.

Sowunmi during an interview on Channels Television has reportedly claimed that Atiku will use Executive Order or Executive fiat to restructure the country in just six months.

But Obono-Obla in a statement said that anybody who give Nigerians such hope is either lying or joking.

Read the full statement below :

I read somewhere today that Segun Showunmi, the Spokesman of Atiku Abubakar campaign, said on Channel Television on 9th October, 2018 that Atiku will restructure the country in Six Months using executive order!

Anybody who gives Nigerians the impression that he will use executive order in six months to restructure the country is with due respect lying or joking or using gimmicky or blustery to deceive them.

The truth if the matter is that it is not legally or constitutionally feasible to use executive order to restructure the country.

What is executive order?

Executive Orders are orders issued by a president and directed towards officers and agencies of the government. Executive orders have the full force of law, based on the authority derived from statute or the Constitution itself. The ability to make such orders is also based on express or implied Acts of the Legislature that delegate to the president some degree of discretionary power.

Executive orders historically are rooted in United States of America that operates a presidential system of government (like Nigeria).

Executive orders have their origin in the United States of America.  The first executive order was issued by George Washington on June 8, 1789, addressed to the heads of the federal departments, instructing them “to impress me with a full, precise, and distinct general idea of the affairs of the United States” in their fields.

With the exception of William Henry Harrison, all presidents beginning with George Washington in 1789 have issued orders that in general terms can be described as executive orders. Initially they took no set form. Consequently, such orders varied as to form and substance.

In Nigeria, as in the United States, the expression, executive order, is neither defined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 Constitution nor is it interpreted in any legislation of the National Assembly or House of Assembly of any state but, like in the USA, it is widely used.

It goes without saying that executive powers vested on the President by Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) gives the President great latitude of powers to issue executive orders on any policy issue but not on amendment of the Constitution.

The  Constitution  confers  wide  discretionary  power  on  the President  to  issue  executive orders  in certain  matters. For instance, under Section 315 of the 1999 Constitution, the President and other appropriate authorities have the power to “make such modifications in the text of any existing law, as the appropriate authority considers necessary or expedient to bring that law into conformity with the provisions of this Constitution”.

You can only restructure the country by first amending the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

The only body that is empowered to amend the Constitution is the National Assembly supported by the State Assemblies of the 36 States of the Federation.

I understand ‘restructuring the country’’, to mean altering or changing or realigning the present legal, political and constitutional orders prevailing in the country today.

You cannot use any of these without altering or amending the present Constitution in force in the country.

The Procedure for amendment of the Constitution is elaborately laid down by Section 9 subsections 1, 2, 3 & 4 thereof thus:

1. The National Assembly may, subject to the provision of this section, alter any of the provisions of this Constitution.

2. An Act of the National Assembly for the alteration of this Constitution, not being an Act to which section 8 of this Constitution applies, shall not be passed in either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of that House and approved by resolution of the Houses of Assembly of not less than two-thirds of all the States.

3. An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of altering the provisions of this section, section 8 or Chapter IV of this Constitution shall not be passed by either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is approved by the votes of not less than four-fifths majority of all the members of each House, and also approved by resolution of the House of Assembly of not less than two-third of all States.

4. For the purposes of section 8 of this Constitution and of subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the number of members of each House of the National Assembly shall, notwithstanding any vacancy, be deemed to be the number of members specified in sections 48 and 49 of this Constitution.

I therefore urge politicians to desist from using restructuring to deceive Nigerians in the forthcoming election.

No President can use executive order or presidential fiat to restructure the country.

Restructuring of the country will only be feasible if there is a consensus among all the political blocs in the country through genuine dialogue and constructive engagement.

Thereafter the National Assembly and the State Assemblies would do the needful, by altering the Constitution to make restructuring possible.
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