Court okays suit seeking to strike down 2019 Anambra Appropriation Bill

Posted by News Express | 6 February 2019 | 1,321 times

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An Anambra State High Court sitting at Awka, on Tuesday ordered an accelerated hearing of a suit seeking for the Anambra State 2019 Appropriation Bill recently passed or voted by the Anambra State House of Assembly, as prepared and laid before it by Governor Willie Obiano to be struck down on the grounds that it is illegal and unconstitutional.

Justice Theophine Oguji, J. okayed expeditious hearing of the suit that was lodged against the Executive Governor, Anambra State and the House of Assembly, Anambra State by Mr. KeneChukwu Okeke, MCSD; a Human Rights Activist and National Coordinator of the Advocacy Group: Good Governance Initiative; even as the judex directed the service of hearings notices on the Defendants to enable them appear in Court on March 8.

Specifically, the Claimant in the suit marked A/462/2018; alleged that the Executive Governor of Anambra of Anambra acted malafide and ultravires its constitutionally conferred powers or functions to wit. “laying before the State House of Assembly  (3rd Defendant), the estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the State, by including the budgetary estimates of the Legislature and Judiciary which do not form part of the estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the State to be included in the Appropriation Bill as proposed expenditures,  and subsequent release of the Legislature and Judiciary funding in quarterly tranches, warrants, or piecemeal by the Executive Arm;” and that “public rights espoused by the principles of separation of powers guaranteed under section 4 (6), 5 (2), 6 (2), 121 & 124 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (amended), has been, is being, and is likely to be violated”.

It is the contention of the Claimant that the  Anambra State 2019 Appropriation Bill run riot and violence to sections 121 (2), 121 (3) & 124 (1), 124 (2), 124 (3), 124 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (amended), and so therefore illegal and unconstitutional. ‎The Claimant further called on the High Court to take judicial notice of the “enrolled” 2019 Appropriation Bill, as seen to be passed or voted by the House of Assembly (3rd Defendant).

The Claimant wants the court to determine:

“Whether the dependence of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government on the Executive Arm for its budgeting & Funding impinge on the cardinal principles of separation of powers,  if affirmative, whether the said executive interference in judicial functions is directly responsible for the present state of inadequate judicial infrastructure, poor welfare of Judiciary Staff, including but not limited to delays in administration of justice, and if further affirmative, whether the said executive direction, control, or interference with budgeting & funding of Legislature and Judiciary, doth violence to Sections 121 (2), 121 (3) & 124 (1), 124 (2) 124 (3) & 124 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (amended), and so therefore illegal & unconstitutional?”

Upon determination, the Claimant is praying the court for a declaration that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Defendants had violated the respective Oaths of Allegiance and/or Oaths of office taken and subscribed to, as prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, by being in continual breach of Sections 121 & 124 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (amended), which is the fons et erigo of our democracy, thus:

“A Declaration that by virtue of Sections 121 (2), 121 (3) & 124 (1), 124 (2), 124 (3), 124 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (amended), remuneration, salaries, allowances, and recurrent expenditure of the Legislature and Judiciary are standing credit, as charged upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State, and as such, do not form part of the estimates of the revenue and expenditure of the State to be included in the Appropriation Bill as proposed expenditures by the Executive Governor (1st Defendant).”

“A Declaration that by virtue of section 121 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (amended), any amount standing to the credit of the Legislature and Judiciary in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State shall not be released to the Legislative and Judicial  Arms in quarterly tranches, warrants, piecemeal or other means through any State Ministry, and/or the office of the State Accountant-General or any other person in the Executive Arm, but shall be paid directly to the House of Assembly or Legislature and the Judiciary from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State, as it does not form part of the estimates of the revenue and expenditure  of the State to be included in the Appropriation Bill as proposed expenditures by the Executive Governor (1st Defendant).”

“A Declaration that the dependence of the Legislative and Judicial Arms of Government on the Executive Arm for its budgeting and funding, impinge on the cardinal principles of separation of powers,  and it is directly responsible for the present state of inadequate judicial infrastructure, poor welfare of Judiciary Staff, including but not limited to delays in administration of justice, and the said executive control or interference with the budgeting and funding of the Legislature and Judiciary is in contumacy to sections 121 (2), 121 (3) & 124 (1), 124 (2), 124 (3), 124 (4) of the 1999 Constitution (amended), and so therefore illegal and unconstitutional.”

“An Order of Perpetual Injunction do issue, restraining the House of Assembly  (3rd Defendant) from voting or passing any appropriation bill, supply bill or spending bill laid before it by the Executive Governor (1st Defendant) which included budgetary estimates, remuneration, salaries, allowances, and recurrent expenditures of the Legislature and Judiciary, as prepared by the Executive Governor.”

“AN Order of Mandamus doth issue, further compelling the Anambra State Government to tender a public apologia to the Anambra People via print and electronic media, having impinged on the cardinal principles of separation of powers, and to have so contributed to such a present state of bad governance, inadequate judicial infrastructure, poor welfare of Judiciary Staff, including but not limited to delays in administration of justice in Anambra State.”

 


Source: News Express

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