WARRI â€” Governorship candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in the 2007 election in Delta State, Comrade Emmanuel Igbini, has faulted the decision by President Umaru Yar’Adua to delegate his Special Adviser, Mohammed Aba Aji, to present the 2010 budget to the National Assembly rather than Vice President Goodluck Jona-than.
He said in a press statement in Warri that the action was tantamount to theÂ highest disobedience, disrespect and desecration of the supreme Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and, therefore,Â posed the greatest threat to Nigerian democracy.
He said:Â â€œThe presentation of this document cannot and will never be seen legally and constitutionally as a budget because the document was not presented in line with the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of NigeriaÂ which President Yar Adua swore to an oath of office to wholly and unconditionally comply with all of its provisions.
â€œIt is instructive to remind Nigerians here that section 145 states that whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary,Â such functions shall be discharged by the Vice President as acting President.
â€œIt is a fact now that Mr President is currently on medical leave and unable to perform one of his constitutional functions – which is, to present Annual Budget to the National Assembly as stipulated by Section 81 of the Nigerian Constitution.
â€œIt is also very pertinent and urgent to ask President Yar Adua if Nigeria no longer has a lawfully elected Vice President in the person of Dr Goodluck Jonathan, necessitating his decision to delegate his Presidential Adviser on National Assembly, Mohammed Aba Aji, to act as Nigeriaâ€™s president to present the National Budget?
â€œLet me remind President Yar â€˜Adua and Nigerians that by Section 142,Â Alhaji Yar Adua is only constitutionally recognised as elected President because Dr Goodluck Jonathan was also elected Vice President and that there will be no President Yar Adua without Vice President Goodluck Jonathan.
â€œFor the benefit of doubt, Section 142 states that â€œa candidate for an election to the office of President shall not be deemed to be validly nominated unless he nominates another candidate as his associate from same political party for his running for the office of president, who is to occupy the office of vice president….
â€œSince Section 81 makes it mandatory for the President to cause to present the annual budget to the National Assembly and section 145 makes it mandatory that only the Vice President of Nigeria in the absence of the President, should make such budget presentation.
â€œIn view of the above , therefore, the document presented by Mohammed Aba Aji to the National Assembly is only a piece of paper, it is also null, void and of no effect. The National Assembly must,Â therefore,Â not commence any deliberation on it at all since it is unknown to law as a budget.â€