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Rivers crisis: National Assembly yet to take over Rivers Legislature - Senator Abe

By The Citizen
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The National Assembly is yet to perform any legislative function in the Rivers State House of Assembly since it took over the affairs of the State's legislature in July this year, according to Senator Magnus Abe, representing Rivers South/East Senatorial District.

Abe, who stated this on Saturday,  however said the federal legislature acted in a manner that was consistent with its mandate.

He described the takeover as a unique development because it was something that had not happened before.

The senator said, 'Actually, two options are available; either the senate will on its own go to look for issues concerning Rivers and begin to treat them or issues will be brought to us by the Rivers state government and we treat them.

'So, the senate, to the best of my knowledge, has not received any request from Rivers yet or whatever but at some point, the senate or National Assembly on its own can decide to carry out the functions of Rivers. That would be their choice.

'The proper thing in a situation like this is for the state to refer the matter to the National Assembly. Any matter, that is referred to the National Assembly will be treated but so far, to the best of my knowledge, we have not received any request.

'In fact, senators have asked where is the Rivers state budget, we are waiting for it. If it comes, it will be passed like any other Bill.'

He said the State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, did not need to come and present the 2014 budget to both chambers personally.

He said Amaechi could decide to transmit it by any means since it is a bill and not a law adding that the process would pass through both chambers of the National Assembly and then the governor will sign it into law for the people of the state.

He said, 'That is the procedure. So, if it's presented, we'll treat it and if not presented, then we have the option of raising it.'

Asked if the budget was not sent to the National Assembly,  Abe said, 'the issue of constitutionality will come from the action of government and not whether budget is presented. It's when you spend money without appropriation that your action will be deemed unconstitutional.'