Section 127, 128 and 129 of the 1999 Constitution: Removal of Auditor General of a State and Investigations by the State House of Assembly

Auditor

The 1999 Constitution

Section 127 (1)

A person holding the office of Auditor-General under section 126 (1) of this Constitution shall be removed from office by the Governor of the State acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly praying that he be so removed for inability to discharge the functions of his office (whether arising from infirmity of mind or body or any other cause) or for misconduct.

(If two-third majority of the State House of Assembly believe that the Auditor General of a State is unable to discharge his/her functions then they are to address the Governor of a State on it to remove him/her. The reason given by the State House of Assembly to remove him/her shall either be based on the failure of the Auditor General to perform his duties. This may be either be due to sickness of mind or body or any other cause or for misconduct.)


Section 127(2)

An Auditor-General shall not been removed from office before such retiring age as may be prescribed by Law, save in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(A person who has been appointed as the Auditor General of a State will not be removed from office before reaching retirement age unless for reasons which have been contained in sub section 1 above.)


Section 128 (1)

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a House of Assembly shall have power by resolution published in its journal or in the Office Gazette of the Government of the State to direct or cause to be directed an inquiry or investigation into

(This section gives the State House of Assembly the power to conduct inquiries or investigations into organization but this shall be done by way of a resolution passed by the House and published in either its journal or in the Official Gazette of the Government of the State.)


Section 128 (1)(a)

any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws; and

(The State House of Assembly has the power to conduct inquiries or investigations into any matter or thing which they have the power to make laws on.)


Section 128 (1)(b)(i-ii)

the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for:

i. executing or administering laws enacted by that House of Assembly, and
ii. disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by such House.

(The State House of Assembly also has the power to conduct inquiries or investigations into the affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department which have been charged or intend to be charged with the duty of or responsibility for executing or administering laws enacted by the House of Assembly or disbursing or administering moneys which have been put aside or is to be put aside for use by the State House of Assembly.

i.e. Any organization or person responsible for executing or administering laws which have been passed by the House of Assembly or is responsible for distributing money set aside or to be set aside for the State House of Assembly, the House has the power to conduct investigations into them.)


Section 128 (2)

The powers conferred on a House of Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling the House to –

(Whatever power given to a State House of Assembly under this section can only be applied in the following situations; )


Section 128 (2)(a)

make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and

(The reason the State House of Assembly has the power to conduct investigations and inquiries is for it to be able to make laws which the House has power to make and correct any issues an existing law it passed already has.)


Section 128 (2)(b)

expose corruption, inefficiency of waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative
competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.

(The State House also conduct investigations in order to expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the way laws are being administered or executive and how funds are being used.)


Section 129 (1)

For the purposes of any investigation under section 128 of this Constitution, and subject to the provisions thereof, a House of Assembly or a committee appointed in accordance with section 103 of this Constitution shall have power to –

(In order to carry out investigations which have been mentioned in the previous section, the following shall be the powers of the House of Assembly or Committee that has been appointed as contained in section 103 of the Constitution.)


Section 129 (1)(a)

procure all such evidence, written or oral, direct or circumstantial, as it may think necessary or desirable, and examine all persons as witnesses whose evidence may be material or relevant to the subject matter;

(Collect evidence whether written, oral, direct or circumstantial and also examine persons whom they believe their testimony will be relevant as evidence to the subject matter.)


Section 129 (1)(b)

require such evidence to be given on oath;

(They (The House) can request that such evidence be given i.e. made under oath.)


Section 129 (1)(c)

summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place or produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, and examine him as a witness and require him to produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, subject to all just exceptions; and

(The State House has the power to summon any person to give evidence or produce documents at any place or other things under his control, examine witnesses and require them to produce any document or possession under his control but such person will not be made to do so if for reasons that are considered just.)


Section 129 (1)(d)

issue a warrant to compel the attendance of any person who, after having been summoned to attend, fails, refuses or neglects to do so and does not excuse such failure, refusal or neglect to the satisfaction of the House of Assembly or the committee, and order him to pay all costs which may have been occasioned in compelling his attendance or by reason of his failure, refusal or neglect to obey the summons and also to impose such fine as may be prescribed for any such failure, refusal or neglect; and any fine so imposed shall be recoverable in the same manner as a fine imposed by a court of law.

(If a person who is summoned to the State House fails to appear, the State House has the power to issue a warrant to compel such person to attend and to pay fines for refusing or neglecting to obey the summons and such fines will be treated like a fine imposed by a court of law.)


Section 129 (2)

A summons or warrant issued under this section may be served or executed by any member of the Nigeria Police Force or by any person authorized in that behalf by the Speaker of the House of Assembly of the State.

(A summons issued under this section may be served/ given to the person name either by a member of the Nigeria Police or by any person who has been granted authority to do so by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.)


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