Why Buhari should declare state of emergency on Nigerian economy – SAN

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Sebastine Hon, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari, to immediately declare a state ofemergency on the nation’s ailing economy.

Mr. Hon, who gave the advice on Tuesday in Abuja, said the action was necessary to forestall national upheaval.

“Following the abysmal performance of the oil sector in the past one year, as a result of the ongoing oil glut which sounds more like an international economic conspiracy, the economic fortunes of the state, nay people of Nigeria, have continued to nosedive freely,” Mr. Hon said.

“The modalities for the proclamation by Mr.President and the National Assembly should, in my respectful judgment, include but not be limited to assembling a crack team of economic, financial, agricultural, legal and technological experts who will work with Mr.President’s economic team and come out as soon as possible with a working document within a given timeframe.”

Since the government is laying emphasis on agriculture, Mr. Hon said proclaiming a state of economic emergency would stimulate massive cultivation of food and cash crops.

He said the nation’s economic woes were further compounded by individuals who cornered public funds and are shamelessly sabotaging recovery efforts by the federal and state governments.

Mr. Hon cautioned that the failure to halt the continued recession of the country’s economy as a matter of national urgency could trigger crisis of unimaginable proportion across the country.

“Historically and empirically, all shades of democratic governments have declared one form or the other of economic emergencies, depending on the local conditions of each geo-polity,” Mr. Hon said.

“For instance, due to the asphyxiating economic and balance of payment crisis in the US in 1970, President Richard Nixon, backed by the US Congress, declared an economic emergency, which empowered the President to ‘ issue such orders and regulations as he may deem appropriate to stabilize prices, rents, wages, and salaries.’

“Mr. President was also authorised to delegate ‘the performance of any function under this title to such officers, departments, and agencies of the United States as he may deem appropriate.’”

Mr. Hon further drew attention to Russia, where its parliament empowered the then President, Boris Yeltsin, to issue decrees necessary for the protection of social security.

Recently, too, he said, former Argentine President, Carlos Menem, was given wide powers by parliament to enable him undertake emergency regulatory powers to overcome the collective risk caused by the serious economic and social circumstances of that country.

In France on February 22, he said the President, Francois Hollande, declared a state of economic and social emergency and unveiled a 2billion euro plan to rev up the ailing French economy.

According to him, the programme included the training of 500,000 jobless persons, financial aid to companies to enable them hire labour and greater utilisation of apprenticeships in the economy.

“It must be noted that this proclamation has been made, notwithstanding the ongoing public state of emergency declared in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in France. The effect is that the two proclamations are running concurrently,” he said.

He also called attention to the Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, who declared a 60-day state of economic emergency aimed at reining in the worst ever inflation in that country.

He, therefore, urged Mr. Buhari to commence the procedure for the proclamation of a state of emergency as spelt out in Section 305 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

The legal practitioner also called on the National Assembly to invoke the relevant provisions of the law to stem further decline of the nation’s economy.

“It must be noted, too, that in any constitutional democracy, the discretion of the named authority to proclaim a state of emergency is sparingly questionable in court, even if the proclamation is suspect,” Mr. Hon said.

He cited two cases, namely: Williams vs. Majekodunmi(1962) 1 All NLR 413 S.C. and Adegbenro vs. Attorney General of the Federation(1962) WNLR 150 at 160, where the Supreme Court of Nigeria held that courts had no jurisdiction to question the discretion of parliament to proclaim a state of emergency made pursuant to the provision of the Constitution.


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  • The truth will set you free

    What requires state of emergency is our Legal system.

  • favourtalk

    If everyone Wana talk, I won’t go well with us all. You should just keep mute and let Nigeria work out. Pmb is trying his best everyday to bring the change he promised to Nigeria and I don’t expect anybody to just come here and start criticizing when he doesn’t even know what is going on with Nigeria economy.

  • Sir Louis

    PMB is equal to the task. He will do the right thing for the country.

  • adelaw



    With much sycophants surrounding – including the slew of slimy journalists scribbling nonsense on-line
    to quarterback Buhari’s un-intelligent moves all over the map, Buhari’s become buffeted and unable
    to wiggle out of a din of lies-telling. When Buhari coughs, a degenerate fellow like Lai Muhammed,
    who does not care for self-respect, will rush to the microphone to say CHANGE has just happened.

    In the context of his status as a prisoner of lies – told on his behalf by journalists on fool’s errands,
    and including heinous lies told also on his behalf by the like of John Oyegun, who hardly thinks,
    President Buhari can never come up with any right mix of reasoned steps to keep Nigeria whole,
    as inflation ravages the poorish Nigerians, in addition to taxes and tariffs; all ill-considered.

  • New Nigerian

    Buhari’s administration has
    done and is doing everything this writer suggests. The mandate for
    current administration is to do exactly what he has written eloquently
    about. The mandate is to tackle the three axis of evil sprung on Nigeria
    by PDplutocrats, the effect which was to tank the economy. These are
    bleeding and making away with 100s of billions of dollars worth of the
    commonwealth through a heist on every aspect of the economy (this has
    been termed corruption killing NIgeria) – So the mandate is to kill
    corruption before it kills Nigeria. And we have been living witness to
    how this is being vigorously pursued –
    locally and worldwide. The Second axis is security – with pdplutocrats
    laying Nigeria bare to the ravages of Boko Haram, Kidnapping and
    economic terrorism through empowered terrorists holding the country
    hostage by blowing up (or threatening to blow up) oil pipelines,
    installations and other forms of sabotage. We are living witness to how
    Buhari administration have been marshaling all resources local and
    worldwide to tackle that. The Third axis is to revive the economy
    through gainful employments and diversification of the economy ploughing
    back recovered monies and re-structuring the system to block of
    loopholes for siphoning the commonwealth that pdplutocrats have put in
    place – we are livng witness and the world is as to how this is being
    vigorously pursued.

    To the extent that there are
    some delays in seeing the effect it is due to the peculiar nature of the
    situation and how things actually work. There have been systemic
    sabotage – including dulling the fight through the judiciary and the
    legislative arm of government. We are also living witness to that – even
    those roadblocks would be removed, God willing and Nigerians would see
    the positive effect of that. All press and patriots should direct their
    searchlight on these roadblocks and removing what is in essence the
    attempt of pdplutocrats in practice and in spirit fighting the
    progressive development of leading Nigeria towards greatness. May God
    Bless the administration of Muhammdu Buhari to do the best for Nigerians
    and the world with the mandate that has been given. May He facilitate
    goodness through it for all. Ameen