Special Report: How Senator Emordi Fared in 2 years as Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters

Special Report: How Senator Emordi Fared in 2 years as Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters

Findings by LEGISREPORTS revealed that since her coming into office 2011, there never has being from 1999 till 2010 the number of disagreements witnessed between the Executive and Legislative arms of government under the brief period of two years she has in capacity delivered on advisory duties.

As a matter of fact, most lawmakers of the upper and lower chambers of the National Assembly who spoke confidentially with this correspondent expressed total dissatisfaction over her performance and positions on matters which they consistently maintained was in most cases tilted to favour the Executive arm of government at the expense of the National Assembly.

This, the lawmakers stated, had severally led to strained relationships where the legislature disagreed strongly with the Executive owing to the poor handling of situations by Senator Emordi that didn’t seem to help matters.

One of such instance where poor handling of Executive and Legislature relations by Emordi led to a rift was between the National Assembly and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) involving its Director General, Arumah Oteh, to which there seems to be no end in sight.

Another was one between the apex legislative body and the Federal Government which degenerated to a dangerous feud over the implementation of N4.7trn 2012 budget.

Worried by the poor level of implementation of the 2012 budget, the House of Representatives last year threatened to commence an impeachment process against the president in September if the level of budget implementation remained the same after it returned from recess.

It would be recalled that the House Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, had proposed an amendment to a motion moved by the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Mr. Albert Sam-Tsokwa, who had prayed the House to seek an interface with the president in order to find ways of accelerating the implementation of the budget by the MDAs.

Gbajabiamila said: “If by September 18th, the budget performance has not improved to 100 per cent, we shall begin to invoke and draw up articles of impeachment against Mr. President.” His submission was barely made before a unanimous support was given by lawmakers of the lower chamber.

In his argument, Gbajabiamila cited Section 143 of the 1999 Constitution, noting that any action of the president defined as “gross misconduct” by the National Assembly was sufficient grounds to initiate impeachment proceedings against him.

In the Senate, that same day, a motion was raised by the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Senator Abdul Ningi.

Ningi, a former leader of the House, had drawn Senate’s attention to the need to investigate a transaction that involved the Federal Government on one side, and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited, and Shell/Agip Oil on the other. The transaction is reportedly about $1.092bn.

While it seemed on the surface like the National Assembly was trying to do its job, beneath the series of actions where serious dissatisfaction felt by the legislature over the way the executive disregarded the institution of the National Assembly.

In 2012, the Speaker of the House of Reps had blasted President Goodluck Jonathan’s refusal to implement the budget in full and sign important bills passed by the National Assembly which he said was inimical to democracy in the country.

Responding, President Jonathan had argued that the budget passed by the National Assembly was not implementable. He also accused the legislators of padding the budget without recourse to the fundamentals and benchmarks set for the budget.

Also, a repetition of outright disregard for the National Assembly by the Presidency was repeated in the 2013 budget when most of its constitutional rights were stripped, one that led to a delay in passage.

Despite several re-iterations by the Senate President, David Mark, to the Executive that the National Assembly refuses to be used as “mere rubber stamp”, attempts are still made to stifle its position on some issues.

Mark had continually explained in the past that the proposition of the Executive that the budget should not be tampered with by the legislature was alien to the Constitution.

   

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