Prof. Itse Sagay, a constitutional lawyer, has advised that in the best interest of the nation, it would be inappropriate for the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume to continue to hold those offices.
The PUNCH reports that according to the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Senator Ndume was in court because of allegations of Boko Haram sponsorship while Senator Saraki may still be under investigation. He also pointed out that people with question marks on their persons were usually not allowed to hold sensitive positions in developed countries.
Prof. Sagay insisted that Senator Ndume could not be the majority leader because he was hand picked by Senator Saraki which was against the spirit of the Senate.
He said, “I cannot say Ndume is the majority leader because he was picked by Saraki. Normally, the majority leader is meant to be picked by the party with the highest number of senators in the Senate and not by the Senate President.
“However, Ndume is still in court for allegedly sponsoring Boko Haram and that is a very serious issue. Saraki himself has not been cleared of allegations of fraud. Under normal circumstances, both Saraki and Ndume should not hold such sensitive positions.”
As regards the issue of Ministerial appointments, Prof. Sagay argued that even though it was constitutionally provided for every state to produce a minister, President Muhammadu Buhari needed not to appoint all the ministers all at the same time and that he could appoint them on rotation so as to reduce the cost of governance.
He also pointed out that the constitution intended for every state to be represented in the ministerial cabinet. He said that the President could reduce the number of ministries and then could appoint various ministers of state.
He said, “The constitution implies that every state must have a minister at the same time. Also, the rotation of ministers would not be politically wise. Does it mean that if a minister is doing well, you will remove him because you want to satisfy another state?
“I think if the President wants to reduce cost, he can reduce the number of ministries and then appoint two ministers in each of the ministries. There will be a senior minister and then a junior one which is a minister of state.
“By so doing, he will obey the constitution and also cut costs.”