The declaration of June 12 as a public holiday was a mere statement of desire by President Muhammadu Buhari, said Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF.
He made the clarification, on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, as he fielded questions on whether Buhari’s declaration contravened the Public Holiday Act.
Malami said: “As it relates to public holidays, there is truly a Public Holiday Act. The Act can be amended and the process of amendment has been put in place. When the Act has been fully amended, the declaration of the President will come into effect. It is a declaration of intention, a declaration of desire and that will eventually be given effect with the amendment of the existing law.”
On whether the President could singlehandedly award posthumous recognition to any Nigerian, the Attorney General explained: “I think we need to make distinctions between the Nigerian National Merit Award Act and the Nigerian National Honours Act.
They are two distinct and different applicable laws as far as national honours and awards are concerned. Above all, we equally have in existence precedent as it relates to the award of posthumous honours. I can recall that a former Head of State, General Murtala Mohammed, was equally honoured posthumously.”
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