Samoa Agreement : Ex-Senator Ita Enang Urges NASS to Sue FG Over Treaty Signings

Sen. Ita Enang

Samoa Agreement : Ex-Senator Ita Enang Urges NASS to Sue FG Over Treaty Signings

By Aluta News
July 09, 2024

Former Nigerian Senator Ita Enang has called on the National Assembly to take legal action against the federal government regarding the signing of international treaties. This comes after President Bola Tinubu’s administration recently signed the Samoa agreement on June 28th at the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium.

The Samoa agreement is a partnership between the European Union, its member states, and members of OACPS. Enang’s concern is that the executive arm of government is entering into international agreements without the necessary legislative approval, potentially undermining the country’s sovereignty.

He is urging the National Assembly to seek legal recourse to ensure that the federal government respects the principles of separation of powers and seeks the necessary ratification for such agreements.

Negotiations on the agreement began in 2018, and it was signed on 15 November 2018 by all 27 EU member states and 47 of the 79 OACPS states.

The African Regional Protocol on the matter consists of two parts – framework for cooperation and areas of cooperation that include inclusive and sustainable economic growth, environmental and human rights protection, among others.

Reacting Tuesday on Channels TV’s Political Paradigm, Enang said an agreement pursuant to a treaty must be made to pass through the National Assembly before being signed by the government.

He alleged that since 2002 the federal government had not been carrying the National Assembly along.

He said: “Even if it is an agreement pursuant to a treaty, so long as the interest of Nigeria is involved, it has to be laid before the National Assembly. I’m urging the National Assembly to take this matter to court.

“It’s not fighting the executive, because it will be helping Nigeria to determine whether all these treaties from 2002 till today, which is 22 years, which Nigeria has been signing without it being ratified by the National Assembly, some binding states, which those states are not a party to, because treaties of a certain character have to also pass through to the state houses of assembly and be approved by them before it can be finally passed by the National Assembly.
“They should take this matter for interpretation, either to the Supreme Court, its original jurisdiction. The National Assembly now has committees on treaties, which are standing committees, not in my time when it was ad hoc, just to address.

“The National Assembly or the Attorney General of the Federation, just like they have done in certain cases like the local government should go to court to interpret whether treaties ought to be laid before the National Assembly before they can become a law and if it is not, what is the legal status of the treaties, conventions and protocols which Nigeria has entered into, even the ones that grant loans, because if it is not lawful, then it is at the risk of countries or institutions, which has granted Nigeria money.”

Enang served as Senior Special Assistant to ex-President Muhammadu Buhari on Legislative Duties.











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