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Incredible: RSHA Passes Budget In Govt House

GOV. AMAECHI SPEECH…Pro-Amaechi’s Lawmakers To Get N500m Each

…Lawyers, Politicians Legislators React

Controversies now trail the passage of 2014 budget by factional members of the Rivers State House of Assembly led by the embattled Speaker, Rt. Hon Otelemaba Dan Amachree.

The budget was passed outside the hallow chamber of the State Legislative Assembly. The lawmakers converged at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Tuesday where the Governor, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi presented the 2014 budget estimate of N485.52bn to the legislators. Barely two (2) hours after the presentation by the governor, the budget was passed without much deliberations.

Speaking while presenting the budget the Governor disclosed that, the 2014 budget is over four (4) billion naira less than that of the 2013 with the capital expenditure put at N247.57 billion, while the recurrent expenditure is N237.95bn.

Prior to the passage of the Tuesday’s budget, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Evans Bipi alleged that there were frantic moves by the legislators loyal to the state Governor to receive and pass the 2014 Appropriation Bill. But in swift response, Hon Leyii Kwanee representing Khana constituency denied the allegations.

Some well meaning individuals in the state have began to react to the passage of the budget in the Government House. Chief Aaron Jonathan, a politician from Andoni Local Government Area condemned the behaviour of the pro-Amaechi’s lawmakers. The politician said that the Governor Amaechi’s Legislators behaved like pupils in the nursery school.

He described the presentation and the subsequent passage of the budget as a rape of democracy. According to Chief Jonathan there is no provision in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria backing the factional members of the RSHA to pass a state’s budget in the Government House.

“What is the essence of the legislative chambers? There is no way lawmakers will pass a budget outside the hallow chamber of the State Assembly. That is unconstitutional and illegal, Chief Jonathan said.

Barr. Ibim Simeon a legal practitioner faulted the manner and the way in which the lawmakers hurrily passed the 2014 budget.

The lawyer said that what the lawmakers have done is capable of destroying the image of Governor Amaechi’s administration.

“We have never seen this kind of illegality. Is it possible for the National Assembly to deliberation and pass a budget outside the hallow chambers? It can never be done” Barr. Simeon said.

He called on the people of the state to protest against the action of the Governor and that of the lawmakers.

“We are not in a primitive society. Our democracy is growing, therefore things must be done in a proper manner to avoid illegality”, Barr. Simeon asserted.

In their separate reactions the lawmakers, representing Andoni, Hon Ikuinyiowaji Ibani, Omuma constituency, Hon. Kelechi Godspower Nwogu and Obio/Akpor Constituency 1, Hon Martin Amaehule kicked against the passage of the 2014 budget in the Government House. According to them the 2014 budget cannot stand, because it was passed illegally. “The budget did not follow a due process,” they noted.

They blasted the parliamentarians for taking the laws into their hands in order to perpetuate illegality in a democratic setting.

Information reaching our newdesk had revealed that only fifteen (15) lawmakers were present including the embattled Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Dan Amachree. Those lawmakers who were present during the passage of the 2014 Appropriate Bill as we reliably  gathered were promised N500m each. Before this time, sources hinted this weekly that the Governor usually gave N100,000 each of the lawmakers whenever an Appropriation Bill is passed.

But due to the controversial nature of this year’s budget the lawmakers who were present at the sitting might go home with a total sum of N500m each. ###

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