Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, says it was illegal for the National Assembly to increase the 2017 budget, and as such, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo should not sign the document.
Falana said the national assembly lacked the constitutional powers to increase the budget presented by the president.
Speaking in Ilorin, Kwara state, during a colloquium organised by the Movement for Genuine Change, he also said that President Muhammadu Buhari cannot exercise his powers while on vacation, having handed over to Osinbajo.
He said, “The President is not competent to sign any bill into law while he is on vacation. The constitution did not envisage that a President who is on a vacation and an acting president, who is standing proxy for him will be exercising presidential powers simultaneously.
“To that extent, pending the resumption of duties by President Buhari, the Acting President, Prof. Osinbajo, is competent to sign all bills validly passed by the NASS.
“If President Buhari did not exercise powers during his vacation even though he was in the country, why would he want to do so while he is on medical vacation abroad?
“Instead of dissipating energy over the competence of an appropriation bill signed into law by the Acting President, Nigerians should subject the 2017 budget to scrutiny.
“We are therefore calling on the Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who is a professor of law not to endorse and sign the illegal appropriation bill of 2017 into law.”
Falana also called on chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, to fish out potential coup plotters and their civilian collaborators who are seeking to capitalise on the president’s ill health.
“While the decision of the Army chief to alert the nation of the devilish plot is appreciated, the authorites should proceed to fish out the coup plotters and their civilian collaborators with a view to trying them for treasonable felony,” he said.
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