On Constitutional amendment and NASS affront on the Supreme Court:
The news that the National Assembly is bent on going ahead to override the veto of Mr. President on the fourth alteration Act in disregard to an order of status quo made by the Supreme Court, if true, is to say the least unhealthy for our Democracy.
A number of lame arguments have been presented to justify this anathema. First, the widely bought argument that the apex court lacks jurisdiction on the case overlooks the provisions of the Supreme Court (Additional Original Jurisdiction) Act (enacted by the National Assembly itself) which confers original jurisdiction on the court in any dispute between the President and the National Assembly. Assuming without conceding that the court acted ultra vires, is it for the National Assembly to constitute itself as an appeal court ? determining when a court possesses or lacks jurisdiction to determine a suit? At least, Democratic civility requires that the NASS challenges formally the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to entertain the case. This is the way things ought to be done.
By asking both parties in the suit to maintain the status quo pending June 18, the court has not barred the NASS from its duties as now popularly argued. The business of constitutional amendment is not a prerogative of the NASS, the President too as the head of the executive arm of government has a role to play in the process. It is therefore absurd for the NASS to want to create confusion in the polity by acting in flagrant breach of the constitution which guarantees the dignity of courts and the sanctity of their orders.
The alleged insistence of the NASS to disobey the Supreme Court and continue with the process of overriding the President’s veto is unconstitutional and must be condemned in strong terms. it is also an affront on the judiciary which must be resisted.
Barr. Vincent A. Adodo
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