The row involving the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the National Assembly over deliberate insertion into the 2016 budget projects different from the President has inched closer to legal interpretation.
National Vice Chairman, South-South of the party, Prince Hilliard Eta in a statement in Abuja on Sunday said APC may take the option of going to court for interpretation of the role of the National Assembly in the passage of a budget.
The party demanded that the budget be reverted, and threatened that “we shall approach the courts of the land for a clear interpretation of the role of the National Assembly in the passing of the National Budget as it is evident that it overstepped its bounds by unnecessarily tinkering with the budget when its constitutional duty is mainly supervisory.”
The party said it was not happy with the lawmakers’ handling of the 2016 budget, which distorted it from what the one PresidentMuhammadu Bihari presented to them.
The party expressed disappointment the role played by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, Danjuma Goje and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Abdulmumin Jibrin for “directly supervising and even actively abetting such debauchery.”
It described the deletion of Lagos-Calabar rail track from the 2016 Budget by the National Assembly as a display of depraved indifference to the welfare of Nigerians.
“The arbitrary removal of the Lagos–Calabar rail track by the National Assembly from the 2016 budget is a display of depraved indifference to the welfare of Nigerians. The deletion is not just arbitrary; it is a big disservice to the people of Nigeria, particularly the South South zone which the proposed railway track would have traversed.
“Also, the total rehabilitation of the collapsed and terrible Calabar–Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Federal Highway which was allotted N6bn by the federal government in the budget was doctored and almost N5bn removed and re-allocated to a non-existent project in the constituency of the Chairman of the House of Representatives Appropriation Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, in Kano state.
“By these two acts, the Senate and House of Representatives displayed the astonishing contempt in which they hold Nigerians.
“The National Assembly exists to ensure that Nigerians get the best from their government using the instrument of purposeful legislation but the 8th Assembly by this budget padding debacle has not only brought itself to ridicule, it has also proved itself unworthy of the trust and confidence of Nigerians”, the party said