THE WHISTLE TO WHITTLE PRESIDENTIAL POWERS

Someone suddenly postulated,

The Senate Should Be Vested With The Powers To Impeach Holders Of Offices For Which It Has Confirmatory Powers.

The relevant laws should be thus amended

Clearly, this proponent is comparing the Nigerian situation with the US realities. An egregious error.

Now, now This is not it at all!

A swift response,

The fact you confirm (but did not appoint) does not give you the power to impeach (fire) .

Check this out You want to marry a girl, take her to your parents for ‘confirmation’.

Can they divorce the woman for you?
It is he who appoints that should be able to un_appoint (fire). It is only the one who appointed that should be able to do away with that person.

The House has in recent past been known to attempt to step into areas unrelated to its constitutional mandate. Handing them more powers can only aggravate this situation.

This developed into a debate, with someone else trying to justify this proposal, saying..

Actually the spirit of the constitution, when it talks about Senate confirmation of certain critical offices, is to vest the Senate with the power of co-appointer.

Quite different from the consent of parents of people getting married.
In any case, this argument is weak in face of the reality that the Senate can indeed impeach the President even when they did not appoint him/her. Or would you want a referendum to impeach a president

This is an attempt to use logic to justify a bad thing, but the logic itself is faulty.

I insist it makes no sense for the Senate to be able to remove someone they did not appoint

You forget that President isn’t appointed. He is elected. The Senators are also part of those who elected him. So, basically, the talk of a ‘non appointer’ removing an ‘elected’ is different from the logic you are trying to apply here

You should not have the powers to impeach an appointee who you never took part in appointing.

Granting this additional power would lead to divided loyalty and the emergence of an ultra powerful Senate Leader in Nigeria. Perhaps your suggestion is to dilute or whittle down the ultra powerful Presidency?

The Senate Leader would be able to impeach anybody in Nigeria – in addition to the President – if he chooses to do so. This is too much power concentrated into a single pair of hands!

The proponent wouldn’t back down. Hear him quote a portion of the United States Constitution.

The Attorney General Is Appointed By The President Of The United States And Takes Office After Confirmation By The United States Senate. The Attorney General Is Subject To Summary Dismissal By The President And Impeachment By Congress.

He was reminded of the Nigerian situation, a far cry from the United States realities, thus,

I am sure you know what we mean by virtually equating the Senate Leader with the 8th Senate. I am sure Paul Ryan or Mike Pence will not have 20 members of the congress to abandon their duty post to accompany either of them to court if they are being investigated/tried by any court of law in the United States.

But here, the situation is different. If Senator Saraki wants not just handbag carrying senators but slippers carriers for his wife, he can get it.

This is the reality.

Of course constituencies electing pliant slippers and bag_carrying senators should become more responsible in their electoral choices. But then, the slippers and bag carrying senators are our reality. The few courageous outliers who date to contradict the leadership of the House find themselves out in the cold.

This is why it would be dangerous to give the Senate (effectively, the Leader) too much sweeping powers. The powers would simply be misused. We already pointed out the meddlesomeness already.

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