APC Criticizes Fubara's Budget Presentation To 4 Rivers Lawmakers

According to them, Section 120(2) of the Constitution expressly prohibits spending money unless the state House of Assembly has appropriated it.
Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State
Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State Google

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticized Governor Siminalayi Fubara's 2024 budget presentation to four of the state House of Assembly's 31 members.

At the Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, shortly after the House of Assembly Complex was demolished, Fubara gave the N800 billion 2024 budget to the four lawmakers he considered to be loyal.

The action was declared unconstitutional in a statement made in Port Harcourt by Mr. Tony Okocha, the chairman of the Rivers State APC Caretaker Committee.

According to Okocha, Section 120(2) of the Constitution expressly prohibits spending money unless the state House of Assembly has appropriated it.

‘’The presentation of a bill to four suspended members of the House of Assembly does not fulfil the requirements of the constitution for all the reasons stated,’’ he said.

Okocha issued a warning, stating that spending by the state government on the results of this kind of presentation violated the constitution and was therefore adequate justification for starting the impeachment process.

Additionally, he stated that a two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly have the ability remove a speaker under Section 92(2)C.

According to Okocha, there is no proof that Speaker of the House Martins Amaewhule has been removed from office.

‘’Amaewhule remains the speaker of the House of Assembly; the lawmakers passed a vote of confidence in him,’’ he said.

Okocha added that the constitution's Section 96(1) makes it quite evident that a third of the House of Assembly's members must be present for there to be a quorum.

“One-third of 31 minus the deceased member is clearly 11, and as such, four members can never form a quorum.

“Section 99 states that any member who sits or votes in a House of Assembly of a state, knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so, commits an offense and is liable on conviction to such punishment as shall be prescribed in a law of the House of Assembly.

“Section 101 gives the House of Assembly the power to regulate its procedures, including summons and recess of the House.

“Section 105(3) also defines the role of the governor of the state.

“The governor shall have power to issue a proclamation for the holding of the first session of the Assembly,’’ he said.

Okocha added, “This function the governor has performed. As such, the Assembly takes over to regulate its procedures, including summoning and recess of the House.” (NAN)

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