Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have faulted the deployment of troops to the Gambia without recourse to the Senate.
Raising a constitutional point of order yesterday, Senator Chukuwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu) said the executive violated sections of the 1999 Constitution by deploying troops without approval of the Senate.
Quoting section 5 (4) of the Constitution, Utazi said, “Going on a warfare in another country without a recourse to this constitutional provisions is affront of the 1999 Constitution and it is a breach of the Constitution.”
Supporting Utazi’s point of order, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said the president needed the approval of the Senate before deploying the troop.
Quoting section 5(4b), he said “except with the prior approval of the Senate no member of the armed forces of the federation shall be deployed on combat duty outside Nigeria. This has to do with war and we are not at war with anybody but for you to send the Nigerian armed forces outside Nigeria this Senate must be told.”
In his remark, Senate President Bukola Saraki said, “Notwithstanding the provisions, the president, in consultation with the National Defence Council, may deploy members of the armed forces of the federation on a limited combat duty outside Nigeria, if he is satisfied that the national security is under imminent threat or danger. Provided that the President shall within seven days of actual combat engagement, seek the consent of the Senate and the senate shall thereafter give or refuse the said consent within fourteen days.”