EXAMINATION OF THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE INVASION OF SENATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA.

A.U. ABONYI

Abstract


All over the world, politics is recognized as a game. Every game has its rules and regulations so as to guarantee orderliness among the players. In Nigeria, this important aspect appears to be lacking and the situation over time now presents a picture of a lawless political arena. This situation is not peculiar to the federal government but cuts across the states and has deeply permeated into the local government administration such that what we have today is clearly a game of “selfish interest” thanagame based on rules. This no doubt has led to confusion in Nigeria and the arms of government and the legislature are not spayed. The legislature is a revered arm of government and is constitutionally vested with specific duties to perform like the other two arms. Of great importance among the duties of the legislature is law making  and  owing  to  the  fundamental  importance  of  laws  in the  existence  of  any  community,  all  the states of the federation are duly represented in the National Assembly while the local governments have their  representatives  in  the  state  assemblies.  In  the  local  governments,  individual  communities  are represented by their respective councilors. With the above, it is evident that the legislature occupies a strategic  position  in  the  life  of  anynation  and  much  is  expected  from  it  as  a  body,  the  expectation  is higher  from  individual  legislator  as  a  representative  of  his  people.  The  event which  took  placein  the National Assemblyrecently(Senate and House of Representatives) has raised questions as to whether the legislature as an institution has lived up to its expectation. This question is reoccurring daily and the recent invasion of the Senate of Federal Republic of Nigeria by thugs allegedly loyal to a serving senator makes this issue more agitating and controversial and hence the need to look into this topic to ascertain the legal implications of this act looking at the Constitution of Nigeria and other extant laws in the land. The  paper  is  also  aimed  at  offering  suggestions  to  check  similar  eventsin  the  future  as  well  as  make recommendations  that  will  guarantee  legislative  advocacy  and  awareness  on  the  activities of  the legislature in Nigeria. Finally, the paper has one of its objectives which is to verifywhether the senate as  a  house  has  powers  to  discipline  one  of  her  members  and  if  such  power  is  exercised,  whether  the senator  affected  has  powers  to  recourse  to “self-help” or use non-legal  procedure  as  a  response  or reaction to such exercise of powers by the senate.

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