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N/Assembly resolution on Jonathan has force of law — Izinyon

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Dr Alex Izinyon, yesterday, dismissed as arrant nonsense the argument by some lawyers that the February 9 resolution passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly empowering Dr. Jonathan Goodluck to assume full presidential powers in the absence of his boss lacked legal powers.

He said the decision by the lawmakers to pass the resolution was not only the best in the circumstance but that the resolution qualified as a joint one which has legal powers.

In a statement in Abuja, Izinyon said the doctrine of necessity invoked by the lawmakers is a living principle of law, explaining, “The legal and political brouhaha provoked by the resolution has been both overwhelming and hilarious with few cynicisms.

“It is clear that, politically, it has removed Nigerians from the logjam, legal and political quagmire that has engulfed it since November, 1999.

“While some have argued that the resolution is illegal and has no binding force of law others have argued otherwise. This is the narrow compass of this discourse

“As a general rule, the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed nor any person or group of persons take charge of the governance of Nigeria or any part thereto except in accordance with the provision of the Constitution.

“This is the provision of Section 1 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

“It means, we all must be governed by the provision of the Constitution.

“The legislative arm of Government derives its function from section 4 of the Constitution.

“All the subsections in section 4 talks about making laws. Resolution of the National Assembly is not included under section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Can we then say that resolution is no Law?

“And that takes us to the question: What is a Resolution? Black Law Dictionary defines resolution as a “formal expression of opinion, intention or decision by an official body or assembly especially a legislature.

“In parliamentary jurisprudence, there are two types of resolutions. Joint resolution and concurrent resolution and all have different legal effects.

“A joint resolution has been defined as “a legislative resolution passed by both houses.” It has the force of law subject to executive veto.

“Concurrent resolution is a resolution passed by one house and agreed to by the other. Concurrent resolution has no force of law but a joint resolution has the force of law.

“What we have on hand is each chamber passing a separate resolution on its own but on same subject matter arriving at the same resolution.

“It qualifies for joint resolution since it has been passed by both Houses. They need not sit jointly to arrive at the joint resolution.

“Therefore, the resolution by both Houses on 9th February, 2010 has the force of law. It qualifies as joint resolution”.


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