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Olisa Agbakoba: Ex-President of NBA says 2018 budget is unconstitutional

Agbakoba says 2018 budget is unconstitutional

Agbakoba kicked off his letters pointing to sections of the constitution (as amended) which set out the procedure for preparing the appropriation bill.

Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba has said the 2018 budget sent to the National Assembly is unconstitutional.

In a report by TheCable, Agbakoba made this known on two separate letters addressed to the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Agbakoba said the executive led by President Muhammadu Buhari did not comply with the constitution in laying the 2018 budget before the national assembly.

Executive failed to follow constitutionally set procedure for budget

Agbakoba kicked off his letters pointing to sections 81 to 84 of the constitution (as amended) which set out the procedure for preparing the appropriation bill.

The Human Rights Lawyer said the constitution requires each arm of government to lay before the national assembly its estimates of revenue and expenditure for each financial year after which it is harmonised as a bill and presented to the president for assent.

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Constitution requests each arm of government (the executive, legislature and the judiciary) to lay before the national assembly its estimates of revenue and expenditure for each financial year after which it is appropriated, harmonised as a bill and presented to the president for his assent,” the letter read.

 

Unfortunately, the executive has failed to comply with this procedure by laying before the national assembly estimates of revenues and expenditure for the judiciary.

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“This is in spite of a subsisting federal high court decision in OLISA AGBAKOBA VS. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION & OTHERS SUIT No. FHC/ABJ/CS/63/2013 that has declared this practice unconstitutional.

“We suggest that the national assembly draw the attention of the executive to the decision of the federal high court. The national assembly should request the National Judicial Council to lay before it the judiciary’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2018 and the executive be made to represent its estimates for 2018.

“In summary, the constitutional procedure for preparing the appropriation bill is that each arm of government (the executive, legislature and the judiciary) lays before the national assembly its estimates of revenue and expenditure for each financial year after which it is appropriated, harmonized as a bill and presented to the president for his assent.”

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Agbakoba threatens to institute legal action

Agbakoba made it clear that should the leadership of the National Assembly and executive fail to follow the stated constitutional procedures, he might institute a legal action.

He further said if the constitutional procedure is not compiled with after seven days, legal action would be taken to enforce the decision of the court.

“We are unaware if the national assembly has laid its budget estimates.

“But please note that if after seven days the constitutional procedure is not complied with, we shall have no choice but to initiate legal proceedings to enforce the decision of the federal high court and set aside the 2018 appropriation bill.” it read.

The 2018 Budget

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe described the appropriation bill presented at a joint session of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari as a ‘fictitious’ document.

Abaribe noted that the 2018 budget was predicated on "faulty foundations" going by the budget performance of 2016 and 2017.

Curated: Meets Media.ng

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Local AFP is a Reporter at Meets Media, a digital journalist who reports on and some other section of our website.

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