REPS BACK JONATHAN ON TROOP DEPLOYMENT TO BAYELSA
BY EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA - MEMBERS of the House of Representatives, Tuesday, threw out a motion seeking the removal of armed forces deployed to crisis-ridden Bayelsa State to maintain law and order by the Federal Government.
Minority Leader, Mr. Femi Gbajabamiala, had, barely five minutes into the plenary, raised a constitutional order that the government violated provisions of Section 217 sub-section 2b of the Constitution.
He had argued that the deployment of troops which had led to the militarisation of the state was unconstitutional as due consultation was not made with the National Assembly.
Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, however, asked the Minority Leader to read Section 218 provisions as stipulated in the constitution.
Gbajamiala immediately obliged, the Section which states that: the powers of the President as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation shall include power to determine the operational use of the armed forces of the Federation and
(4) The National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the regulation of -
(a) the powers exercisable by the President as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation; and
(b) the appointment, promotion and disciplinary control of members of the Armed Forces of the Federation.
Immediately the section was read, it was put to vote and the House unanimously threw it out.
The Speaker, however, sent a message to the executive arm that such an oversight of the National Assembly was not really appropriate and that the Federal Government should guide against such constitutional violations as both Houses were not consulted before the deployment.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan, Tuesday, also sent three letters to the House on the harmonisation of the retirement age of universities professional cadre, colleges of education and polytechnics.
The second bill also requested the House to look into the Act establishing the nine universities created by his administration.
The third was a bill establishing the Act of the Federal University of Uyo.