Wednesday, 4 November 2015
CONSTITUTIONALITY OR OTHERWISE OF APPOINTMENT OF MINISTERS IN NIGERIA
There has been some controversy in our dear Country Nigeria since the coming into power of President Muhammadu Buhari, one of such controversy includes the delay in nominating ministers.
However for whatever procedure that is being followed, there is a laid down constitutional provision for it, which directs the affairs of the executive,legislative and judiciary arm of government. Before laying down our criticisms if any, it is only proper that we look at the constitutional provisions in relation to the path taken by the President and see if the provisions was adhered to or otherwise.
The constitutional provision as contained in chapter 6, section 147 to 149 states as follows
(1) There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President.
(2) Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.
(3) Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution:-
provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State.
(4) Where a member of the National Assembly or of a House of Assembly is appointed as Minister of the Government of the Federation, he shall be deemed to have resigned his membership of the National Assembly or of the House of Assembly on his taking the oath of office as Minister.
(5) No person shall be appointed as a Minister of the Government of the Federation unless he is qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives.
(6) An appointment to any of the offices aforesaid shall be deemed to have been made where no return has been received from the Senate within twenty-one working days of the receipt of nomination by the Senate.
(1) The President may, in his discretion, assign to the Vice-President or any Minister of the Government of the Federation responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation, including the administration of any department of government.
(2) The President shall hold regular meetings with the Vice-President and all the Ministers of the Government of the Federation for the purposes of -
(a) determining the general direction of domestic and foreign policies of the Government of the Federation;
(b) co-ordinating the activities of the President, the Vice-President and the Ministers of the Government of the Federation in the discharge of their executive responsibilities; and
(c) advising the President generally in discharge of his executive functions other than those functions with respect to which he is required by this Constitution to seek the advice or act on the recommendation of any other person or body.
149. A Minister of the Government of the Federation shall not enter upon the duties of his office, unless he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed in this Constitution and has subsequently taken and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of office for the due execution of the duties of his office prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.
The above constitutional provision is self explanatory, in line with the present nomination of ministers in Nigeria, can we boldly say that the constitutional provisions have been obeyed.
The senate sets procedure for ministerial screening of its nominess, however to every rule there is an exception, in terms of screening of ministerial nominees, some nominees enjoy the privilege of "TAKE A BOW AND GO"reason being that “it is a privilege reserved for former federal lawmakers ..... Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume the majority leader had this to say in relation to the privilege enjoyed by some former senators in this just concluded screening.
" what we did now was that even if you were a member of the National Assembly, and you are nominated and because of the respect we have for our colleagues, you can bow and go, we felt you need to interact with us and that was exactly what we did on the floor.” to read further MINISTERIAL SCREENING
In accordance with section 149 of the 1999 Constitution as ammended, it is an exercise to demand for certificate of assets declaration issued by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) from the nominees.
Section 147(5) makes an important demand that only a person who is qualified to be a member of the House of Representatives can be adjudged fit to be screened as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Most of us where opportuned to watch the screening process, i can easily conclude if i was satisfied with the screening or not but that is a personal decision for each and everyone of us to make,once you can relate the nomination and screening process with the constitutional provisions.
the most recent in the news is the fact that some of the minsters wont have a portfolio, again this is raising serious controversy.
MINISTERS WITHOUT PORTFOLIO
According to Wikipedia. A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister who does not head a particular ministry.
kindly comment in relation to the state of affairs in the Country as it will be highly appreciated.
Monday, 19 October 2015
Almost every single day we hear,and read news headlines of all sorts of rape incident, which is very disheartening and absolutely despicable.
In ordinary context rape can be seen as forcefully having sex with someone against his/her wish or will, especially using violence. A close analysis of this incidents shows that Over 90% of predatory sex is perpetrated by males against females. .
There is no age limit regarding rape as children, babies, adolescents, matured adults, mothers, grandmothers, and women of over 70 years are being raped or defiled recklessly. Rape, generally speaking, is an infringement on the rights of individuals, particularly children and could amount to gross violation of child rights.
MEANING OF RAPE
Rape according to Wikipedia means a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration perpetrated against a person without that person's consent.
The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or against a person who is incapable of valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, or below the legal age of consent. The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.
Coming down to the Nigerian Context under the Criminal Code section 357 and Penal Code section 282 both provide for the offence of rape. Section 357 of the Criminal Code states that – any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman or girl, without her consent or with her consent, if the consent is obtained by force or by means of threats or intimidation of any kind, or by fear of harm, or by means of fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act or in the case of a married woman, by impersonating her husband, is guilty of an offence which is called rape.
The actus reus of rape is having unlawful sexual intercourse with a woman or man who at the time of the intercourse does not consent to it. While the mens rea is an intention to have sexual intercourse with a woman knowing that she does not consent to the act. The offence of rape embodies society’s view of what is right and wrong in sexual relations. The guiding principle is that this judgement on what is right and wrong should be based on an assessment of the harm done to the individual (and through the individual to society as a whole).
In Nigeria we read headlines in these contexts
· How police corporal raped a 12 year-old- girl
· Heavily Tattooed Convict Charged With Raping Fiancée's 12 Year Old Daughter
· Phone Records As 65 Year Old HIV+ Grandad Rapes His Granddaughter.
This rape cases are pitiable, and can have these effects on the victims:
· Psychological impact
In Nigeria we have existing laws that punish offenders as provided in criminal code act sections as follows:
358. Any person who commits the offence of rape is liable to imprisonment for life, with or without caning.
359. Any person who attempts to commit the offence of rape is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for fourteen years, with or without caning.
360. Any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults a woman or girl is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
361. Any person who, with intent to marry or carnally know a female of any age, or to cause her to be married, or carnally known by any other person, takes her away, or detains her, against her will, is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
362. Any person who unlawfully takes an unmarried girl under the age of sixteen years out of the custody or protection of her father or mother or other person having the lawful care or charge of her, and against the will of such father or mother or other person, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable to imprisonment for two years.
It is advisable that we always look out for the vulnerable ones in our society in other curb this rape menace, anyone can be a victim. We all must put our hands on deck, to ensure that these unfortunate incidents is reduced to the barest minimum.
I will be bringing you possible ways to curb this menace and reforms in due course.
SERVING YOUR INTEREST TO THE UTMOST
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Most times we wonder if truly as citizens of Nigeria if we have legal right? the answer is not far fetched because it is absolutely in the affirmative, YES WE DO.
The 1999 Nigerian constitution as amended specifically provides us with our fundamental human rights as enshrined in Chapter 4.this rights are basic and is meant to be observed stricto sensu. these are the provisions in summary.
- Every person has a right to life.
- Every individual is entitled to respect for the dignity of his person.
- Every person shall be entitled to his personal liberty.
- In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.
- Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty.
- Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.
- Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.
- Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused ent ry thereby or exit therefrom.
- Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, every citizen of Nigeria shall have the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in Nigeria.
- No moveable property or any interest in an immovable property shall be taken possession of compulsorily and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of Nigeria except in the manner and for the purposes prescribed by a law.
This is absolutely the law that governs me and you and the constitution is made available to all citizenry to ensure the least, that you know your rights, not forgetting to state that there are exceptions to the above rights stated.
Everyday in this our dear Country Nigeria, we get to see violation of this rights in one way or the other lets quickly look at these scenarios.
1. While exiting the mall you unknowingly touched someone, the next thing that visits you is a very painful slap on your face.
2. You come back from work and hear that your neighbours daughter who is just (3)three years of age has been sexually molested(raped).
3. Owing to a little quarrel between a husband and wife over his wife's jovial nature to their male neighbour, the husband decides to lock up the wife in the house everyday while going to work and release her when he is back, when he is sure he has his eyes on his the wife and the neighbour.
4. Being a lover of news,you bought a newspaper and on seeing the recent updates in the country, with your church mind you said a few things at the newspaper stand, and just after that, you get beaten up badly for airing your view from the fans of the person you criticised.
All this scenarios constitute some form of violation of our human right in one way or the other .This latin maxim says "UBI JUS UBI REMEDIUM" meaning "WHERE THERE IS A RIGHT THERE IS A REMEDY". Dont feel laid back if your right is violated because
- you are not well placed in the society
- or no one will come to your aid. Your ability to speak up will afford you the necessary remedy that you require.Some of these unfortunate scenes can be resolved amicable one on one ie the minor ones, through alternative dispute resolution, or the court which is usually the last resort.
Please feel free to let me know some of the instances you feel constitute a violation,make suggestions, all we want is a country that has less violations and we can achieve peaceful co-existence.
If you have any legal issues that needs assistance or any area of law that you would like me to talk on for your interest and others,please do not hesitate to contact me,as you will be getting a quick response and solution.kindly send me a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERESTED IN YOUR WELL BEING