Senator Dino Melaye, who represented Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly, has scolded President Muhammadu Buhari over exercising constitutional powers he does not have to order the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun states. Melaye argued that President Buhari lacks the powers to take over the affairs of state government without consultation with the governor and approval of the State House of Assembly.
Dino Melaye declared that President Buhari’s order of lockdown of Lagos and Ogun states is outside his constitutional powers.
Senator Melaye in series of tweets after the president’s broadcast on Sunday night, protested that it is an absurdity for President Buhari to take over the affairs of any state without the express approval of the state House of Assembly.
Melaye cautioned that he is not opposed to lockdown of states but maintained that President Buhari acted outside his constitutional powers with the unilateral order to restrict movement of Nigerians without the approval of the National Assembly.
Senator Melaye on his official twitter page wrote: “you will recall that I had a broadcast one week ago asking for the lockdown of Abuja and Lagos. This buttresses the fact that I support measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, but it must be done in accordance with the law. Nigeria is practicing constitutional democracy.
“And it is an absurdity fore the President to take over the affairs of any state without the express approval of the state House of Assembly. In the presidential broadcast… the president did not invoke his power of emergency as prescribed by S.305 of the Constitution of Nigeria.
“And even if invoked, it must be with the approval of the National Assembly. The President acted outside his powers to restrict movement without approval of the National Assembly. I, therefore, advise Mr. President to take appropriate constitutional steps and do the needful quickly.
“as we need lockdown, this is a very important decision but must be done in line with all democratic norms. God bless Nigeria as I pray for divine intervention from God Almighty. Only Him can rescue us.”
A legal practitioner, Olu Adegboruwa SAN, had also argued that President Buhari lacks the constitutional powers to order lockdown of states.