A former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN has given the federal government seven days within which to comply with the constitutional procedure of budget passage or risk a law suit.
Agbakoba gave the ultimatum on Monday intwo separate letters to both the Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House Yakubu Dogara.
He said that the constitutional procedure for preparing the appropriation bill is that each arm of government—the executive, legislature and the judiciary—lays before the National Assembly its estimates of revenue and expenditure for each financial year after which it is appropriated, harmonized as a bill and presented to the President for his assent, according to Sections 81 to 84 of the Constitution.
"Unfortunately, the Executive has failed to comply with this procedure by laying before the National Assembly estimates of revenues and expenditure for the Judiciary.
A subsisting federal high court decision on a case he filed against the attorney-general of the federation declared the practice unconstituional.
He said that the NASS should draw the attention of the Executive to the decision of the Federal High Court. "The NASS should request the National Judicial Council ( NJC ) to lay before it the Judiciary’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for 2018 and the Executive be made to represent its estimates for 2018.
"We are unaware if the National Assembly has laid it budget estimates. But please note that if after seven days the constitutional procedure is not complied with, we shall have no choice but to initiate legal proceedings to enforce the decision of the Federal High Court and set aside the 2018 Appropriation Bill", he said.