Saturday, 17 January 2015

SU Speaker Preaches Supremacy Of Constitution

It was almost a debate on Wednesday 14th January 2015 at the Afrika Amphitheatre of Obafemi Awolowo University where the Students' Union congress was held as some of the congressmen believed that the Congress was the supreme level of power in the Union, a notion the parliamentarians refused to agree with.

It all began when a congressman moved a motion that a Fact-finding Committee be instituted to investigate the alleged misappropriation of funds in the execution of projects by the Central Executive Council (CEC). A parliamentarian then responded that the Students Representative Council (SRC) had already given the CEC 72 hours to give a comprehensive report of their spending after which the SRC will act. He however said the time frame had not elapsed and so the issue was not up for discussion at congress level as it had not exceeded the power of the SRC as stated in Article 2 section 6 subsection 2 of the sacrosanct Great Ife constitution.

One of the congressmen who did not quite agree with the supremacy of the constitution as preached by the parliamentarian was Comrade Oluwole Olubanji ( a.k.a Engels) making reference to the famous quote “Man was not made for the law but the law for man” and he tried to defend the supremacy of the congress by saying that the student could not strictly follow a constitution last amended in 1979 and therefore the congress of students should be the highest binding power of the Union. Some other congressmen were also of the notion that the congress can make decision on matters that cannot be handled by the CEC and SRC.
The Speaker of the SRC, Ramon Bola (RBT), also mounted the podium a few times to re-emphasize the supremacy of the constitution making reference mostly to Article 1 section 1 subsection 3 of the same constitution which clearly states;

If any other law, directive or action is consistent with the provisions of the constitution, this constitution shall prevail and such law, directive or action shall to the extent of the inconsistency be null And void”. The Speaker also said it is not in any part of the constitution that the congress is the supreme decision taker on issues of the Union as against the usual statements by some persons which has gained ground over time.

The argument was a long one and eventually copies of the sacrosanct constitution of the Students' Union were brought in and distributed to congressmen. The President of the Union, Comrade Ibikunle Isaac fully threw his weight behind the supremacy of the constitution also making reference to Article 1 section 1 subsection 3 of the constitution.

The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) OAU chapter, Dr. Caleb Aborisade who was present at the Congress was also not left out as he commented on the constitution issue. Aborisade stated that the main cause of the Controversy was the current state of the Union and that if all things were the way they are supposed to be, then the constitution would not even be an issue at all in the first place.

Photo Credit: Ramon's Facebook Wall
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