APC Challenges Fubara's Unilateral Budget Presentation    - The Top Society

APC Challenges Fubara’s Unilateral Budget Presentation   

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has criticized Governor Siminalayi Fubara for his unconventional 2024 budget presentation to a select group of lawmakers, raising concerns about the constitutionality of the act.

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Governor Fubara presented the staggering N800 billion 2024 budget to only four lawmakers, suspected to be his loyalists, at the Government House in Port Harcourt. This event unfolded shortly after the controversial demolition of the state House of Assembly Complex.

Mr. Tony Okocha, the Rivers State APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, expressed strong disapproval, stating that the action was unconstitutional. He pointed to Section 120(2) of the Constitution, emphasizing that no money should be spent without proper appropriation by the entire state House of Assembly.

‘’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 stern warning, asserting that any expenditure resulting from this unorthodox presentation would be deemed a violation of the constitution, providing sufficient grounds for impeachment.

He highlighted Section 92(2)C, which outlines the conditions under which a speaker can be removed, stressing that a two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly is required.

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Furthermore, Okocha raised doubts about the legitimacy of Mr. Martins Amaewhule’s status as the Speaker of the House, alleging a lack of evidence to support any formal removal from office.

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

He also cited Section 96(1) of the constitution, underlining that the quorum of the House of Assembly must consist of one-third of all members, further challenging the validity of the proceedings.

“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.” 

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