by Isi Esene
The looming crisis between the House of Representatives and the Executive arm of government deepened yesterday with the House threatening to serve impeachment notice on the president if he refuses to judiciously implement this year’s budget.
The impeachment threat came on the heels of a motion by Albert Sam-Tsokwa (PDP/Taraba) and 20 others on the non-implementation of budgets by the Executive.
Mr. Sam-Tsokwa expressed concern that seven months into the 2012 fiscal year, the judicious implementation of the budget is skewed in favour of recurrent expenditure while neglecting its capital expenditure component.
Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the minority Leader, argued that the president was in negligence of his primary duty of implementing the budget which would have addressed the nation’s poor infrastructure.
Citing an order of privilege, the member of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria said, “The president, by failing to implement the budget as passed by this honourable House, violates the 1999 Constitution and is therefore liable to be impeached under section 143 of the 1999 constitution.”
“Therefore, I want to hereby submit, that come September, we will begin to invoke and draw up articles of impeachment of Mr. President,” he declared while receiving a rousing support of members.
Not all members were in support of Mr. Gbajabiamila’s submission, Mr. Karibo Soalaboye (PDP/Bayelsa) argued that the blame for the budget non-implementation solely rests with the Ministry of Finance.
The speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, agreed with Mr. Soalaboye and sustained his argument.
On a separate feuding note, Speaker Tambuwal called on Nigerians to direct all grievances over the delay of the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) towards the Executive.
The Executive was accused of not properly timing its submission of the PIB to the House which embarked on its two months recess yesterday to resume on September 17.