Constitutional lawyer, Ben Nwabueze has said that Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria lacks the constitutional power to verbally cancel May 29 as Democracy Day.
The elder statesman said by on his own replacing May 29 with June 12 as Democracy Day, Buhari has violated the 1999 Constitution.
Nwabueze in a legal opinion released on Sunday said that Buhari acted like he was a military ruler by not recognising the powers of the National Assembly to amend the laws of the federation.
In the legal opinion titled “President Buhari’s 6th June, 2018 declaration of a new Democracy Day and the rule of law”, the senior lawyer said, “President Buhari could not have been more disdainful and more careless, he could not have made a greater mockery of the rule of law than by his announcement on June 6, 2018, of the decision of the Federal Government that “henceforth, June 12 will be celebrated as Democracy Day”, knowing, as he well does, that May 29 is enacted by law, the Public Holidays Act, as Democracy Day, and that could not be changed to June 12, except by amendment of the Act, not by mere presidential declaration; and that his wishes, intentions and whims, however, pure and benevolent, are not law, as in the days of the absolutist military dictatorship, when laws could be made simply by word of mouth, later to be put in written form by Decree or Edict.
“It is incredible that, knowing all this, but still believing himself to be an absolute ruler, he went ahead to organise the farce of commemoration ceremony on June 12, at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
“His perception of himself as absolute ruler is antithetical to constitutional democracy, and constitutes a danger to the country. He should be made to shed that perception of himself.”