Budget Padding: Reps Head For Court For Interpretation Of Legislative Powers

Honourable Yakubu Dogara
Honourable Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives

AS the controversy over the alleged padding of the 2016 Federal Government budget rages, some current and former members of the House of representatives, on Tuesday, dropped hint of heading to court for judicial interpretation of the Legislative Houses’ Powers and Privileges Act.

The Dean of the Faculty of Initiatives, Eyibo Eseme, told journalists in Abuja, yesterday, that seeking a judicial interpretation had become necessary to end to debate on the alleged budget padding in the National Assembly.

He said: “We have heard a lot of people, even from very enlightening minds, saying that after the budget had been passed and assented by the President, some people introduced something into it.

“Who is the person to authenticate these various opinions.? Under the Authentication Act 2004, in this case it is the Clerk of the National Assembly who transmitted what was passed and harmonized by both chambers of the National Assembly to the President with the signature.

“He is the appropriate person to say that look, this budget had been tampered with or not, regardless of the fact that the Minister of Budget and National Planning, though belatedly, came out to say 2016 budget is as it was passed and assented to by the President. But even at that, it brings to fore the issue of institutional jurisprudence.

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“Some people are saying EFCC, ICPC should investigate the legislators, some are saying they should be taken to court; that they should be prosecuted for being involved in the issue of crime.”

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