The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Thursday met with the leadership of the National Assembly on how to develop a working relationship that would ensure seamless passage of bills.
The meeting, according to a statement by Lawan’s media aide, Ezrel Tabiowo, was attended by Malami, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and some principal officers of the Senate.
Malami told his hosts that the major issue of interest to the Office of the Attorney General and the government was having a harmonious working relationship targeted at advancing the interest of the nation.
He added that it was against this background that several bills were proposed during the 8th National Assembly, while additional ones will be presented during the 9th National Assembly.
Malami expressed concerns that several bills presented to the 8th National Assembly were never passed nor assented to because of certain inadequacies or constitutional issues.
He said, “Enormous resources, energy and cost have gone into legislative process of lawmaking, and I feel the time is now right for us to work together for the purpose of eliminating the associated bottlenecks that have constituted hindrances to the passage of the bills and assenting thereto.
“My beneficial approach is to look at the possibility of working together between the executive and legislature; and where the need arises, the judiciary, in working on the bills before they proceed to the stages of public hearing.
“We cannot afford to expend resources, time and energy in formulating and drafting bills that will eventually not be passed or assented,” Malami said.
He suggested, as a way forward, sending advance legislative proposals for possible review and inputs of the lawmakers even before the final consideration of the draft bill by the executive.
Lawan said the current cordial relationship between the Executive and the National Assembly should be one driven by mutual respect and consultation between both arms of government.
He said, “We shouldn’t work at cross purposes; and beyond bills, we need to extend the consultation to other spheres of engagements for us to achieve optimal performance.”