June 12: Atiku’s ex aide cconceals Buhari for disregarding constitutional process in conferment of national honours; threatens to sue
– A former aide to former VP Atiku Abubakar, Umar Ardo has threatened to sue President Buhari for his recent decision to confer national honours on MKO Abiola, Babagana Kingibe and Gani Fawehinmi
– Ardo stated that the action was illegal; and that the president had not sought advice from the Council of State before taking the decision, as stipulated in the Constitution
– He stressed that he had no objection to the president conferring such national honours on the prominent Nigerians; but said it had to be done the right way
Following the recent declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day by President Muhammadu Buhari, Dr Umar Ardo, a former special assistant to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has threatened to take legal action against the president, if he does not abide by the constitutional provisions in the award of national honours.
His comments were contained in a statement released to newsmen on Sunday, June 10, Tribune reports.
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gathers that Ardo insisted that the president’s action was unconstitutional; and called on him to convene the Council of State to give advice on the matter.
He stated: “Pursuant to the powers of the Council of State in section 6(a)(iii) of Part 1 to the Third Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to advise the president on the matter of awarding National Honours, I call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately convene a meeting of the National Council of State to deliberate and advise him on his decision to award national honours to the late Chief MKO Abiola, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe and Chief Gani Fawehinmi before performing the planned investiture ceremony on Tuesday. This is simply to comply with due process of law.
“Driven by the need to determine whether in the president’s decision to confer the said national awards, constitutional due process of law had been followed, I telephoned and asked a former president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a serving member of the Council, whether to the best of his knowledge the issue had at any time been raised in any of the meetings of the Council of State, and the advice of the said Council sought and obtained.
“He informed me, and I verily believe him, that it was never ever raised nor the advice of the Council ever sought or obtained. Therefore to go ahead and perform the investiture ceremony as planned, is to indulge in flagrant illegality.
“Having campaigned on, sworn-in and is on oath to govern this country in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and due process of law, and to defend and protect the said Constitution, the president cannot confer national awards on the Late Chief MKO Abiola, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe and Chief Gani Fawehinmi or anyone else, without subjecting his decision to the advice of the Council of State as stipulated in the Constitution.”
He continued: “Consequently, in pursuant of my civil right and obligation as a citizen that I am governed by the provisions of the Constitution, I will institute a court action demanding compliance with the provisions of the Constitution in the award of the said national honours if the government goes ahead with the investiture ceremony without abiding by the due process of law.
“It is important, however, to state here that I have absolutely no objection to the president conferring such national honours to Late Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Gani Fawehinmi, and indeed that they richly deserve such awards and much more. But it is only right to do the right thing rightly.
‘My current call and possible court action are solely motivated by the obligation to vindicate, enforce rule of law and constitutionalism in the process of governing this country.”