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Funds: States under emergency rule may sue Jonathan

The official said attorney generals and commissioners of justice from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States are likely to meet at the weekend to seek legal…

The official said attorney generals and commissioners of justice from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States are likely to meet at the weekend to seek legal opinions from senior legal advocates to decide on the next line of action.
“This would amount to clear breach of the constitution, because the Emergency Proclamation Act 2013 which empowers the President to spend funds meant for states or local governments in areas of emergency rule is in conflict with the constitution,” the official said.
He said the legal effect of declaration of emergency in an area simply means that citizens are deprived of certain fundamental human rights, because of the security issues involved. “The constitution did not in any section remove the executives or dissolve democratic structures and relieve them of their functions. Powers to spend funds meant for states and local governments is constitutionally vested in the chief executives of the state and local governments being second and third tiers of government directly benefitting from the statutory allocation of the federation.”
“Any attempt by the President or any other person appointed to act in that behalf is unconstitutional, illegal, null and avoid and of no lawful effect whatsoever. In addition, it will be a fragrant abuse of the constitution to tamper with funds accruable to these tiers of government and in this case, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States which are all federating units like the federal government,” he added.
The official also said   “all along, Borno and Yobe have been the ones funding security operations since the deployment of troops under the JTF to their states. The Federal Government didn’t give them a dime, why should the President now even consider holding their funds whereas they have been discharging his own functions?” he asked.
Weekly Trust reports that the National Assembly has limited the powers conferred on the president under the emergency rule proclamation to security matters only.

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