Lawyers fault Buhari’s approval to review 368 grazing sites in 25 states

Lawyers yesterday faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to review 368 grazing sites in 25 states. In his reaction while speaking with Saturday Telegraph, Dr. Jubril Usman, said that the governors and the House of Assembly of the 36 states are constitutionally empowered, even statutorily to provide security for their people, to make law for the peace and good governance of their people and to give welfare to their people.

“For people who want to know the constitutional provisions, they should go to Section 4(6) (7), Section 5(3) (4), Section 14(2) (a) (b), Section 11, and Section 176(7) of the Constitution. “This include the judgment of the Federal High Court, Makurdi in the case of AG, Benue State and AGF, go to laws passed by the State Houses of Assembly of Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Oyo and Osun. ‘‘By all of these, the states do not need any Federal Government permission or approval to take care of their people security. Even Sections 214, 215 and 216 of the Constitution make it clear that Governor of a state is the chief security officer of his state.

‘‘They do not require any permission from the federal government. Apart from that, Nigeria operates a federalism system of government. This is a concept where both the government at the centre and the federating unit has their powers designated and delegated in specific areas. “That is why you have exclusive legislative, concurrent and residual list. There is nowhere in the constitution where security and welfare of the people has been exclusively to the Federal Government alone, such as to invoke the doctrine covering the field, to say if the Federal Government has the power to this, state do not have.

“In fact, states have more involvement the matter of providing security for their people. The federal government is an abstract at the centre, it is only in charge of the police at the centre. Also reacting, another lawyer, Dennis Nwankwo, questioned the basis on which the Presidency made the policy. “How can that be interpreted? Is it within federal domain? If it is within the states, how will the Presidency claim that Governors do have the constitutional power to enforce it. “On what premise did the Presidency made the review. For me as a lawyer, there is no basis to interpret it.

Can anybody tell me that I don’t have the power to put the type of food I want to put in my mouth? “Then the person can tell me why I cannot take the food I want to take. If a Governor has the power to control land in his state and then he said, don’t be carrying cattle up and down, then you say he does not have the power to enforce it. “Enforceability has very wide implication in law. Is it because the Federal Government is control of Police, is it because they have Army? ‘‘Governors are empowered to maintain security in their own places. “I am not aware of the law where open grazing is written. Once it has been established that open grazing is the origin of insecurity, and then governors can stop it. “If they think it is not constitutional, they head to the court. They can’t just stay there as unidentified body called presidency and be saying what the law did not say”.

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