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9th NASS must learn from ‘pro-masses’ 8th NASS- Ozekhome



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Constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome on Thursday admonished the coming 9th National Assembly to emulate the patriotic spirit that was exercised by the outgoing 8th National Assembly.

The lawyer in a statement on Thursday, while appraising the outgoing lawmakers, described the Eighth National Assembly as the best in the Nigerian legislative history in terms of productivity and asserting the independence of the legislature.

He maintained that the NASS threw up brave and courageous legislators who spoke truth to power at the risk of their lives.

Ozekhome said though the NASS is expected to cooperate with the executive, it is not to do so at the expense of its independence.

He averred that the NASS must always defend the Nigerian people at all times “because governments, like soldiers, come and go, while the barracks (the people, the real owners of power) remain. They constitute the dog that wags the tail (government)”.

Read also: Ekweremadu reveals there were plans to ‘overthrow’ 8th Senate by force

He went further to state that from the outset, the Assembly “held sacrosanct, the hallowed doctrine of Separation of Powers, as ably propounded by great philosophers of yore and famously dilated upon in 1748 by the great French philosopher, Baron de Montesque”.

“In the entire legislative history of Nigeria, the 8th NASS has Passed the greatest no of pro-masses motions, resolutions and bills (into Acts of parliament) than any Legislature before it.“

“It has also incubated and thrown up the most daring, courageous and brave Legislators that spoke truth to power and authority, at the perilous risk to their lives, families and properties.

“Future NASS should and must take a cue from the 8th NASS, that it is an independent arm of government specifically created by section 4 of the 1999 Constitution, to make laws for the peace, order and good governance of Nigeria.”

According to the legal luminary, the legislative arm “is not a rubber stamp to executive desires and nuances”.

He said any NASS worthy of its name as the present one, “must rise up and use its oversight powers under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution to check the excesses of the other Judicial and Executive arms of government, especially of the usually intolerant, overbearing, dictatorial, arm-twisting and imperious Executive arm that controls the coercive apparatchik of state power and forces”.

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