By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday passed through second reading, a Bill to repeal and reenact the National Emergency Power Act, subjecting the exercise of such powers by a sitting President to approval of the National Assembly.
The new Bill seek to ensure that no individual or any arm of government is given absolute power when pass into law.
Debating on the general principles of the bill, the sponsor, who is the Chief Whip, Hon. Tahir Monguno, argued that the existing 1961 Act “has became obsolete, and no longer in tune with modern realities.
According to him, the security threats facing the nation today; including Boko Haram insurgency, banditry and kidnapping were either non-existent, or not as rampant as they are today.
He argued further that the manner in which the existing Act was crafted offered absolute power to the President, which was not in tandem with democratic tenets, noting that where it is required to make certain proclamations, such must be subjected to approval of National Assembly.
Also speaking in support of the re-enactment Bill, Hon. Nicholas Osai said certain provisions in the existing Act, which was a product of military decree, cannot stand in a democratic setting.
The Bill was subsequently referred to the Committee on Justice by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, who presided over the plenary session.