Lesson In Constitutional Law: The Promulgmation Of The National Assembly By Okoi Obono-Obla
It is well settled that under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) there are branches of government namely, executive, legislative and judicial.
The executive is responsible for implementation of government policies and law; the legislative is vested with the power of law making and while the judicial branch is confer with the power of interpretation of law.
In theory these three branches of government are separated but in practice sometimes their functions and responsibilities interrelate and overlap.
It is settled that the National Assembly is vested with the power of making law for the peace stability and good government of the country.
The National Assembly of Nigeria is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The 7th Legislative Session of the National Assembly ended on the 5th June, 2015 which is the four year anniversary of its first sitting after its promulgation of the session by former President Good luck Jonathan on the 4th June 2011.
Section 64 subsection 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provide thus:
“The Senate and the House of Representatives shall stand dissolved at the expiration of a period of four years from the date of first sitting of the House
The 8th session of the National Assembly shall be promulgated on Tuesday the 9th June, 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Section 64 subsection 3 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provide thus:
‘’ Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the person elected as the President shall have power to issue a promulgation of the National Assembly for the holding of the first session of the National Assembly immediately after his being sworn or by its dissolution as provided in this section’’.
President Buhari is the Head Executive Branch of the Federal Government of Nigeria. He is the Head of Government and Chief Executive of the Federation. He is not a member of the National Assembly. He is not expected to attend the National Assembly except to deliver an address on national affairs including fiscal measures or to make such statement on policy of government as he considers being of national importance.
The pertinent question is: Why did the writers of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria confer the power confer the power of the promulgation of the National Assembly on the President?
This precisely show that the writers of the Constitution did not envisage a water tight separation of governmental powers between the three branches of government spelt out in the Constitution but interrelated .