Buhari Can Confer Honour On Any Nigerian Dead or Alive – Femi Falana
Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says President Muhammadu Buhari is not prohibited by law to confer national honours on deserving Nigerians, dead or alive.
Falana made this known while reacting to the statement made by former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore, who described the act as an illegality.
“With profound respect to the Honourable Justice Alfa Belgore, the National Honours Act has not prohibited or restricted the powers of the president to confer national honours on deserving Nigerian citizens, dead or alive. No doubt, paragraph 2 of the Honours Warrant made pursuant to the National Honours Act provides that ‘a person shall be appointed to a particular rank of an order when he receives from the president in person, at an investiture held for the purpose…’ But paragraph 3 thereof has given the president the unqualified discretion ‘to dispense with the requirement of paragraph 2 in such manner as may be specified in the direction. Therefore, since the national awards conferred on Chief Abiola and Chief Fawehinmi cannot be received by them in person the president may permit their family members to receive same on their behalf.”
On June 12th being declared as the new democracy day by President Buhari and it not being illegal, Falana said;
“Furthermore, section 2 (1) of the Public Holidays Act stipulates that in addition to the holidays mentioned in the schedule to the act, the president may appoint a special day to be kept as a public holiday either throughout Nigeria or in any part thereof. It is crystal clear that the president is not required by law to seek and obtain the approval of the national assembly before declaring a public holiday in the country” he said