Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the power to unilaterally declare June 12 as a public holiday.
Speaking with State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, the minister said Buhari merely expressed a desire for Nigeria’s Democracy Day to be moved from May 29, which has been observed since 1999, to June 22 from next year.
He said the matter would involve the amendment of the Public Holidays Act by the National Assembly.
“As it relates to public holidays, there is truly a Public Holiday Act. The Act can be amended and the process of amendment has been put in place.
“When the Act has been fully amended, the declaration of the President will come into effect. It is a declaration of intention, a declaration of desire and that will eventually be given effect with the amendment of the existing law,” he said.
On the award of a posthumous Grand Commander of the Federal Republic on the acclaimed winner of the June 13, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Abiola, b Buhari, the minister said a precedent was set in the conferment of the same type of honour on a former head of state, Gen. Murtala Muhammed, by a previous government.