Buhari Can Fund Election Without National Assembly Approval – Itse Sagay

Itse Sagay, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), has proposed a solution for the Federal Government to approve funds for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), without awaiting the approval of the National Assembly.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Sagay noted that the seeming delay by the National Assembly on approving funds for the 2019 elections would have negative impact on democracy.

“If elections are not held, it will mean the collapse of our democracy, leading to chaos and anarchy,” he said.

“The question that arises is simple. Which is more critical to democracy and the survival of Nigeria: Is it (1) the power of the National Assembly to approve budgets or (2) the survival of democracy and Nigeria itself?

“If the survival of democracy is more important and fundamental to Nigeria’s existence, then failure to approve the budget for elections will trigger the doctrine of necessity, thus compelling the funding of election without the approval of the National Assembly.

“It is simply a question of the survival of democracy and the continued existence of Nigeria. The power of approval of budget is just a single item in the whole of the Constitution. On the contrary, elections and democracy which they support, constitute what the whole Constitution is about.”

Proposing a solution, he said: “The overriding necessity and imperative of elections and democracy simply override the power of National Assembly. If the National Assembly refuses or fails to approve the budget for election, the doctrine of necessity will validate the provision of the funds without the National Assembly’s approval.”

However, Senator Suleiman Nazif, Co-Chairman of the National Assembly Joint Committee on INEC, has said the committee will reconvene on August 27 to conclude work on the INEC budget submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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