Inflated 2017 budget: Don’t sign that "illegal" budget - Falana, Opadokun tell Osinbajo
Two leading activists, Femi Falana (SAN) and Ayo Opadokun, have asked the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, not to sign the 2017 budget because it was illegally increased by the National Assembly.
Falana, a renowned lawyer, and Opadokun, former scribe of Yourba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, bared their minds in separate talks delivered at Ilorin, Kwara State as part of activities put together by a group to mark the 50th anniversary of the state.
The duo pleaded with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo not to sign the budget into law as presented to him by the National Assembly.
Falana spoke on “Politics, leadership and accountability: The role of the people,” while Opadokun’s paper was entitled “Dynastic politics and challenges of a modern state.”
Falana argued that: “It is illegal for National Assembly to increase the budget as transmitted to it by the executive.
He said: “The enemies of democracy are desperately trying to exploit President Buhari’s ill health to truncate the democratic dispensation.
“Notwithstanding, the glaring shortcomings of the fragile democratic process, the people should be allowed to take advantage of the democratic structures to take their political destiny in their own hands. On their own part, the political class should stop playing into the hands of potential coup plotters.
“While the decision of the Army chief to alert the nation of the devilish plot is appreciated, the authorites should proceed to fish out the coup plotters and their civilian collaborators with a view to trying them for treasonable felony.”
I therefore urge Prof Osinbajo not to pass the illegal appropriation bill into law.” On his part, the former NADECO scribe said: “There are clear demarcations as to the functions and responsibilities of each tier of government.
It the responsibility of the executive to propose, it is the executive that has the legal authority to say it is increasing the budget. It is not the responsibility of the National Assembly that will scout for the revenue that will come in and how to execute it. It the executive that has a linkage of the priority that it sets about to accomplish.
“When there is a bill of appropriation before the NASS, what they can do is to work with the executive to establish that the correct figures are there. But to add something that was not there before is utra vires powers and I concur with Femi Falana as he is talking law and law in this circumstance is to be respected.
They don’t have that right they are arrogating to themselves.