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Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Jonathan must sign 2013 budget today – Falana
Ace lawyer and human rights activist, Barr. Femi Falana has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the 2013 Appropriation Bill sent to him by theNational Assembly since January 14th. Falana said that the president’s assent on the bill must not exceed today, February 13th.
Falana in a communiqué issued on Tuesday said that signing the budgetafter today would result to the violation of Section 58(4) of the Constitution, which makes it mandatory for the president to append his signature within 30 days of receipt.
He said, “The only option available to the President if he fails to sign the budget today is for him to request the Supreme Court to determine the extent of the powers of the National Assembly to rewrite the budget”.
Section 58(4) of the Constitution reads,
“Where the President, within thirty days after the presentation of the Bill to him, fails to signify his assent or where he withholds assent, then the bill shall again be presented to the National Assembly sitting at a joint meeting, and if passed by two-thirds majority of members of both Houses at such joint meeting, the bill shall become law and the assent of the President shall not be required.”
It would be recalled that the National Assembly had sent the Appropriation Bill 2013 to the President for his assent on January 14, 2013.