By Abdul Seye
The Chamber of activist, Femi Falana and 39 other civil society organizations have accused the National Assembly of failing to meet the compulsory 181 days plenary sessions.
The coalition in a statement signed by the 40 organizations said the National Assembly in its first legislative year from June 2019 to June 2020 did not sit up to the required 181days.
“The legislative year is June 2019 to July 2020. Two months vacation: 56 days public holiday, 6-week Yuletide vocation, 42 days, 7-week coronavirus break, 49 days in addition to 62 days for Saturdays and Sundays, this means 216 days out of 365 days in a year. Therefore, the National Assembly sat for only 149 days instead of the 181 days prescribed by the constitution, ” the statement read in part.
The coalition also condemned the National Assembly for embarking on its annual recess instead of working with the executive to profer solutions to the challenges facing the country.
Adding that the directive by the House of Representatives to suspend all investigating hearing until the end of recess is ill-timed, it urged the House to resume the hearings with findings made public.
The National Assembly has been on holiday since July and in addition, the leadership of the House on the 19th August announced that the House will suspend all investigative and public hearings until resumption.
“Prior to and during the ongoing vacation, the lawmakers were conducting very important investigative hearings into the mismanagement of public funds by various ministries.
“It was, therefore, shocking to wake up to the August 19th directive by the leadership of the House of Representatives suspending all legislative activities including those investigative hearings that had captivated the nation,” the groups said
The CSOs also called on anti-graft agencies “to live up to their responsibilities by following up on these investigative hearings to gather actionable evidence to prosecute those who have violated various anti-corruption laws and regulations.”