This presentation considers the scope of the so called oversight functions of the legislature over private entities. A must read for any business person who wishes to understand the nature and scope of the legislature\'s power to routinely investigate their activities. For further engagement please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scope Of Legislative Powers Of Enquiry And Investigation Over Private Entities Li1
THE BASIS OF A TYPICAL INVITATION TO AN INVESTIGATIVE HEARING BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY S. 88 of the 1999 Constitution & S. 40(1) National Assembly (Basic Constitutional and Transitional Provisions) Decree No. 5 1999 empowers the National Assembly to: - investigate any matter or thing with respect to which it has powers to make laws; the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or governmental department charged or to be charged with the duty or responsibility for executing or administering laws enacted by the National Assembly S. 89 of the 1999 constitution empowers the National Assembly to procure evidence written or oral, direct or circumstantial for the purpose of the investigations under section 88.
POWER CONFERED BY LAW - GUIDING PRINCIPLEWhere powers are specifically conferred by statute, any thing done outside such powers is in excess of jurisdictionA creation of the law cannot act outside the powers specifically and expressly committed to it. In particular, any action whichwould have a compelling force must be clearly spelt out, and cannot be assumed Per Ademola, C.J.F. In EX PARTE ATEM (Unreported) F.S.C. 23/1960 Judgment delivered 23rd Feb 1961
SCOPE OF S. 88 WITH RESPECT TO PRIVATE ENTITIES„ QUALFIFYING SUBJECT Any matter or thing with respect to which it has powers to make laws &„ QUALIFYING ENTITY The conduct of a person, authority, Ministry or Government department charged with the responsibility for: i. executing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly, and ii. disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.”
SCOPE OF S. 88 WITH RESPECT TO PRIVATE ENTITIES (CONT’D)„ Further qualification of the scope: - “The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to- i. make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and ii. expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it".
PROPOSED RESPONSE TO INVITATION TO INVESTIGATIVE HEARINGS Examine every individual request Encourage compliance where applicable Uphold the rule of law, advice the resistance of invalid requests, where necessary be ready to litigate “If the Constitution is to be upheld, and undoubtedly it must be, then a breach of it must be capable not only of being vindicated but of being prevented.” Per Coker, J.S.C. in Re: G. M. Boyo