The Adamawa Governor said the president’s action would be illegal if executed.
The Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, has vowed to sue President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Government over the plans of the latter to use funds meant for the state to finance the emergency rule declaration.
President Jonathan had on May 14 declared a State of Emergency in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States to quell the insurgency of the Boko Haram sect and other militants in the area.
Controversy later trailed the funding for the Nigerian troops as the president proposed that the affected states’ federal allocations be used.
The National Assembly, however, rejected the president’s proposal, in their approval of the emergency declaration, saying the federal government should fund it.
Mr. Nyako had in his state broadcast after the declaration questioned the inclusion of Adamawa, saying the state was the most peaceful among the six north eastern states.
In his reaction to the planned use of the state’s funds by the presidency to fund the emergency rule, the Adamawa Governor said it was illegal and he would challenge it in court.
Speaking through his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Ahmad Sajo, the state governor averred that it would be an overbearing exercise of power for the president to seize funds meant for the state and then use it to fund the emergency rule.
“In a democracy, no one has such power which would cripple and render the states useless,’’ the Adamawa Governor said. “Definitely, the affected governors including Adamawa will go to the Supreme Court should the president make the move.”
Two public commentators in Adamawa, Phineas Padio and Garba Santuraki, also questioned the presidency’s plan saying Section 3 (1) paragraph (d) and (e) of the Emergency Act 2013 is in conflict with the provisions of Section 162-164 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended; as these sections of the constitution give the states the right to earn and administer their resources.
“The fundamental question is this: whether having regard to the provision of Section 305(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the president has powers to tamper with the funds meant for the states and the local government areas? More so, the provisions of Section 3(1) (d) and (e) of the Proclamation Act 2013 is inconsistent with the provisions of Section 162 -164 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, which deals with state fund,” Mr. Padio, a reverend, said. “Therefore, the Proclamation Act is unconstitutional, illegal and void to the extent of the inconsistency of the constitution.”
Mr. Santuraki also said that it is unconstitutional for the president to touch any dime meant for the affected states.
“The president has no power to tamper with funds meant for the states and local governments to fund security operations, as such funds are provided for in the Appropriation Act, as Section 162 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and clarified,” he said.