In what it appears to be a compliance of the directives of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to blocked all executive bill, the APC lawmakers said they would not touch the budget because they were giving only the summary of the budget therefore it is against their laws to treat the budget.
The drama started when the leader of the House, Mulikat Akande Adeola read the bill for a consideration, when a point of order was raised by Rep. Emmanuel Jime (APC Benue), noting it is the violation of section 21 subsection (1) 2 &3 of the provision of the physical responsibility act.
According to him, “what we have here is a purported summary of the budget and the law required that the full estimate must accompany the budget to the House before the House could start debate on it”.
He argued that the House as a lawmaking body have the responsibility to draw the attention of the Executives whenever they run foul of the law and should not be seen to be condoning constitutional breaches.
Jime argued that in as much as the parliament had in the past allowed the Executives to violate the constitution and go scot free, the time has come for the trend to be stopped.
“Mr. Speaker, people would argue that the budget is such an important segment that affect the lives of Nigerians but do we continue to flout the law
“Mr. Speaker in order to avoid the reputation of the missing $10.8b non remittance by the NNPC, there is the need for us to know the budget summary before debating it, that would give us the actual amount of each ministries and MDA’S before we go for oversight”.
Another point of order was raised by Rep. John Enoh (PDP Cross River), he argued that the budget estimate is a matter of prominence and has been the tradition of the House to debate on the Summary of the budget before the estimate were made available to the House.
At this point, the Speaker again mitigated a simmering showdown by mandating the chairmen and deputies of the committees on Rules and Business: Albert Sam-Tsokwa (PDP, Taraba) and Sunday Adepoju (APC, Oyo), Justice: Ali Ahmed (APC, Kwara) and Chukwuemeke Nwaogbo (APGA, Anambra) and as well as Judiciary: Aminu Shagari (APC, Sokoto) and Ken Chikere (PDP, Rivers), to study the matter and report to the House within 24 hours.
Meanwhile the speaker announced on the floor that the House would suspend the plenary for two days (Wednesday and Thursday), to allow the member of the APC to go to their constituencies for their nationwide membership registration.