Feelers from the Senate have indicated that the Upper House is set for a showdown with President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged constitutional breaches and human rights abuses.
The Senate particularly wants to use the continued detention of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria also known as Shi’ite, Mallam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, to compel the Presidency to respect the rights of Nigerians and court orders.
The Upper House also decried the relentless military and police crackdown on members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
To give its planned action against the Executive arm of government more bite, the Senate is considering a motion titled: “Alarming Rise in Cases of Alleged Human Rights Violations and Consistent Assault on the Provisions of the 1999 Constitution by the Executive”.
It was listed in the Senate Order Paper on Tuesday.
The motion, sponsored by Senator David Umaru (APC, Niger East), was, however, stood down because the sponsor was absent at yesterday’s plenary.
The Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Ibn Na’Allah, told the Upper House that the sponsor of the motion was not available.
In the motion, the lawmaker had frowned at the detention of Dasuki for over two years in total disregard to court orders and that of ECOWAS Court and the similar incarceration of El-Zakzaki.
Senator Umaru, also took up the crackdown on the IPOB; lack of accountability for human rights violations by security agencies and other militant elements, including armed herdsmen and the gradual descent of the country into anarchy and despotism, as a result of indiscriminate arrests, unconstitutional detention of citizens under questionable circumstances, as was the fate of Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe.
The resolution, according to the motion, was that the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Alhaji Abubakar Malami, should appear before the Senate in plenary and explain the constitutional basis for the controversial Executive Order No. 006 and the other Executive Orders which have been issued by the President in clear usurpation of the law-making functions of the National Assembly.
It called on the Executive to desist from further violation of the sacred principle of separation of powers and adopt the rule of law as the guiding principle for its actions.
The motion urged the Presidency to empanel a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into all cases of human rights abuses allegedly committed by the Police, the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in the course of discharging their duties, with a view to identifying the culprits and victims and offering redress where necessary.
Senator Umaru also called on the Executive to demonstrate practical commitment to the observance of the rule of law, especially in ensuring obedience to court orders and following due process in fulfilment of its constitutional obligation.
He said that government must take necessary measures and/or establish needed structures to ensure that all constitutionally guaranteed rights of the citizens are protected and observed by its security and law enforcement agencies in the discharge of their responsibilities.