Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Femi Falana and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, have intervened in the dispute between Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike, and Senator Ireti Kingibe who represents the FCT.

The senior lawyers stated that contrary to Kingibe’s assertion, the FCT minister is only answerable to President Bola Tinubu, not the legislature.

Kingibe had claimed Wike must work under the National Assembly’s supervision as the FCT minister lacks executive powers. But interpreting the constitution, Falana said Kingibe was incorrect as executive authority for Abuja lies with the President who then delegates it.

He referenced Section 299(a) which vests FCT’s executive powers in the President, legislative powers in the National Assembly, and judicial powers in the FCT High Court. Since the President holds executive power, he delegates it to the minister who acts on his behalf.

Adegboruwa concurred that ministers including the FCT minister are appointed by and report to the President, not the legislature. He said the minister is only accountable to the lawmakers regarding budget defense, investigations, and legislation.

On demolitions, both SANs asserted proper procedures must be followed. Falana said the government cannot demolish property without a court order, noting the Physical Planning laws require a process to establish violations. He decried demolitions often target the poor politically while the rich get regularization.

Adegboruwa also opposed mass demolition except on environmental grounds. He advocated correcting approved defects instead of razing structures.

In disagreeing with the senator, the senior advocates firmly reinforced that the FCT minister is answerable solely to the Presidency. They insisted lawful processes must apply before any potential demolition.

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