Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, says the announcement of June 12 as Democracy Day, is a mere declaration of intention until the holiday act is amended.
Malami said this while responding to questions from state house correspondents on whether the presidential declaration did not contravene the public holiday act.
President Muhammadu Buhari had announced that June 12 had replaced May 29 as democracy day.
The presidency also clarified that the declaration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day does not make it a public holiday.
According to Malami, June 12 can not be a public holiday until the public holiday act is amended by the national assembly.
“As it relates to public holidays, there is truly a Public Holiday Act; but it is about the process and process of amendment,” Malami said.
“At any rate, the act can be amended and the process of amendment has been put in place. So, 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 act of amendment of the existing law.”
On whether the president could single-handedly award posthumous recognition to any Nigerian, the AGF said: “I think we need to make distinctions between the Nigeria National Merit Award Act and the Nigerian National Honours Act.
“They are two distinct and different applicable laws as far as National honours awards are concerned.
“You have the National Merit Award on the strength of which we have the law of the governing board comes into effect and then as it relates to the National Honours Act, the Board does not have any relevance in terms of processing of the Honours.
“For then, above all, we equally have in existence precedence as it relates to the award of posthumous Honours.
“I can recall that a former head of state, General Murtala Mohammed was equally honored posthumously amongst others.”
Buhari conferred national on MKO Abiola, presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Babagana Kingibe, his running mate and Gani Fawehinmi, late human rights lawyer.