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S/West PDP accuses Aregbesola of constitutional breach over non-presentation of 2013 budget

By Lere Olayinka

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-West has promised to take on the governor of Osun state, Mr Rauf Aregbesola for breaching the constitution by not presenting the 2013 budget before the end of last year as stipulated by the Constitution.

The party, in a statement issued on Tuesday by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, said the provisions of section 121 (1) of the constitution is very clear on when a governor can legally present budget proposals to the state House of Assembly.

Section 121 (1) of the constitution says "the governor shall cause to be prepared and laid before the House of Assembly at any time before the commencement of each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the state for the next following financial year."

''As of today, January 1, 2013, Mr Aregbesola has not presented his 2013 budget proposal to the state House of Assembly as demanded by the constitution.

"It is clear that Mr Aregbesola by his attitude to the law has thrown Osun state into a constitutional crisis. Any budget he presents now cannot be lawful just as it will be illegal for him to spend a kobo of public funds on anything this year.

"We will go to court on this for judicial rescue of our state from the present reign of lawlessness," the party said.

The PDP said it was "embarrassing to Osun state and very unfortunate that Aregbesola is the only governor out of the 36 governors in the country who did not present his 2013 budget before the end of last year as dictated by the constitution.

"Even his colleagues in Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Edo and Ekiti complied with this law. Some of them have even signed their appropriation bills into law. Aregbesola has refused to toe the line of sanity.

"We urge all well meaning Nigerians to show interest in the lawlessness going on in Osun state. Every day, impunity and barefaced illegality take the place of legal governance.

"Nigerians should note that as against the law, Aregbesola ruled Osun State like a sole-administrator for over eight months without a single commissioner.

"Instead of doing what the law says, Mr Aregbesola has just forced the 30 local governments in the state to borrow N502 million each, making a total of N15.060billion which he is helping them to spend on some ill-defined projects.

"He has also just spent N35 million on New Year fireworks (bangers) in a state that is one of the poorest in the country.

"We will not keep quiet and we urge all lovers of the Rule of Law not to be silenced by the propaganda of the government of the day in Osun state."