He says that the powers of the legislators are limited to investigations, not to the executive’s directive
Denies leaving Ctee
Advises the Selection Committee of States to continue their work
Threatens to resign if Buhari orders him to commit
The Minister of State for Labor and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, said that the National Assembly Committees lack the powers to give directives to the executive.
The Minister emphatically said that the powers of the National Assembly and its committees under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution are limited only to investigations, and not to any directive to the executive.
This is how Mr. Keyamo has advised the members of the Selection Committees in the 36 states of the federation to ignore the supposed suspension of the selection process and continue with their tasks without obstacles.
He also threatened to resign his position if President Muhammadu Buhari directs him in this circumstance to succeed in political interference in the job recruitment process, stressing that he cannot compromise the jobs intended for ordinary Nigerians who do not have godparents or who they are not affiliated with any political party.
In a statement he personally signed in Abuja yesterday, the Minister denied the accusation that he left the Joint Working Committee of the National Assembly, even when he alleged that the alleged suspension of the program by the committee amounted to challenging the powers of the President
The statement said: “Today, in obedience to your invitation, I appeared before the Joint Labor Committees of both the Senate and the Chamber. The distinguished senators and honorable members have tried to receive information on the implementation of the Special Public Works Program so far.
“However, there was a misunderstanding between us when they questioned why I did not send the program privately for them to examine before taking certain steps. They suggested that they should have input on how the program should be implemented. In other words, they sought to control the program as to who gets what, where, and how.
However, I insisted that he could not turn the program over to his control as his powers under the constitution do not extend to that. They insisted on a closed session.
“At this point, I commented that it was fair for me to respond to his position before the press since his own position was also made public. In any case, I commented that the Nigerian people deserve to know the details of the execution of this important program.
“Then they apologized to me for insisting on public interaction, and I said there was nothing to apologize for because their powers to expose corruption under section 88 of the Constitution cannot be exercised in private.
As such, there was no need to apologize for insisting on a constitutional provision. Even its Rules, which can provide for private hearings on public affairs, cannot override the provisions of the Constitution. So they let me go. I bowed and left. I never left the respected committees, as they may want to double the narrative. “
On the supposed suspension of the exercise by the legislators, he said: “After I left, I understand that the Joint Committees supposedly suspended the work of the Selection Committees throughout the country until they decide how the program should be executed and who must be on those Committees. My opinion is that it amounts to challenging the powers of the President.
“I regret to say that its powers under section 88 of the 1999 Constitution are limited to investigations only, but not to giving any directive to the executive.
“A committee or committees of both houses do not even have powers to pass binding resolutions. They can only make recommendations to the Plenary. In this case, even the Plenary CANNOT give DIRECTIVES to the Executive.
“All my life I have fought for good government and constitutional democracy. I will not enter the government and I will be intimidated to abandon those principles. I prefer to leave this task if the President so orders, rather than compromise the work for ordinary Nigerians who do not have godparents or who are not affiliated with any political party.
“Therefore, I respectfully direct all the Committees established throughout the country made up of CAN, NSCIA, NURTW, Market Women, OSC, Youth Organizations, respected traditional rulers, etc. so that they continue their work without obstacles. Only the President can stop his work.