With the lapsed deadline of 30 days which President Goodluck Jonathan had as dictated by the Constitution to sign the 2013 Budget into the law, it has now become illegal for the President to do so.
This was the view of legal practitioner, Fred Agbaje, who made this known on our breakfast programme Sunrise Daily while discussing the lingering controversy over the passage of the 2013 Appropriation Bill.
Reacting to reported claim by the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance that the President will this week sign the 2013 Budget, Mr Agbaje stated that “any attempt or purported attempt by the President to sign that budget will be an exercise in constitutional futility which lacks legitimacy. ”
Section 58(4) of the 1999 Constitution dictates that if a 30 day period is passed after sending the budget to the President and the president fails to sign it, the budget must be returned to the National Assembly where a 2/3 votes of the national Assembly is required to pass the budget into law thereby, vetoing the President’s signature.
The lawyer decried the controversy that has trailed the budget which was passed and submitted to the executive since December 2012, blaming it on the lack of consultation and lobbying in the Nigerian democratic structure.
According to him, all the seeming misunderstanding would have been averted if the Presidency has adequately lobbied members of the National Assembly over its planned polices ahead over time.
This he claims is what obtains in other democratic structure across the world but rather, Nigerian politicians still paraded the military psyche of enforcing the desires on others, the disappointed lawyer explained.