The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) condemns in strong terms, the National Assembly provocative, reckless, illegal, abuse of legislative functions, usurpation of executive responsibilities, assault on Nigeria’s democracy and violation of the constitution unilateral insertions into the 2018 national budget as assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 20th of June, 2018.
We regard this unconstitutional insertions into the 2018 national budget by the National Assembly as a legislative coup against the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria which clearly spells out the separation of powers and functions of the three arms of government.
It’s an indisputable fact, that we operate a constitutional democracy in which the legislature makes the law, while the executive implements and the judiciary interpretes.
We have thoroughly examined the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended and are unable to identify which section of the constitution gives the legislature the powers to embark on the unconstitutionality and illegality of the preparing and approving national budget estimates for the executive to assent? Absolutely, there is none in the law books.
By the illegal and unconstitutional insertions into the 2018 national budget by the National Assembly, the legislature has strayed into an area exclusively the responsibility of the executive as enshrined in the constitution, which is to prepare the budget estimate and submit to the legislature for consideration and approval. Thus, this is nothing but a coup detat against the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria which is treason.
However, we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for being statesmanly to prevent an economic shutdown of the Nigerian state in assenting to the budget while highlighting the coup against the constitution by the National Assembly which stands condemned.
We hereby call on the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to immediately approach the courts for a judicial interpretation of the National Assembly insertions into the 2018 national budget so as to put a stop to the recurring assault on the constitution and our democracy in the passage of national budgets.
-Nelson Ekujumi writes from Lagos