President Muhammadu Buhari may be on the verge of suspending the Nigerian constitution and declaring a state of emergency across Nigeria, Peoples Gazette reports.
Citing a leaked memo, the online news outlet said Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami wrote a lengthy legal advice to Buhari, urging him to declare Martial Law, in contravention of the fundamental rights of all Nigerians as guaranteed under Chapter IV of the Constitution.
In the eight-page secret memo dated May 4, 2021, Mr Malami, said this was the only solution to tackle the alarming rate of insecurity in the country.
“The essence of declaration is to allow for suspension of constitutional and legal bureaucratic bottlenecks pertaining to matters of National Security with particular regards to fundamental rights guaranteed under Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and processes and procedures relating to procurements, among others,” the attorney-general wrote.
Mr Malami said the president should issue instruments of emergency and publish them in the federal gazette, after informing Senate President Ahmed Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
“To douse probable legal tension, it is important for the proclamation instrument of the statement of emergency to expressly provide for the suspension of Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and its attendant enforcement rules,” Malami said.
“The suspension of rights pertaining to matters of national security will then give legal backing for the proclamation of the statement of emergency to be operational and effective without litigious or judicial distractions.”
The AGF cited widespread acts of insecurity and blamed separatist agents like Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu for fueling the protracted crisis that has enveloped the country and aggravated the social and economic conditions of Nigerians.
The memo was reportedly endorsed to the president by National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and a senior administration official told the Gazette that the announcement is only a matter of time.
“Clearly, different factions of our government have different positions on this alarming proposal,” a presidency official said.
“But everyone agrees that the AGF holds powerful sway over the president and it would be a miracle if the Constitution is not suspended as he recommended.”