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We are in monarchy, not democracy – Dogara

FORMER Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has declared that Nigeria is indeed in a monarchy not a democracy considering recent steps so far taken by the President Bola Tinubu-led APC administration.

Yakubu Dogara said that, “For those who doubt that we are in a monarchy not democracy, let me just point at one recent example. After the Executive had raised Trillions of Naira by means of ways and means not only in the absence of express legislative authorization but in violation of the express provisions of Section 38 of the CBN Act of 2007 as amended, the Parliament was asked to approve the advances to the government which had risen from just about N789.6 billion in May, 2015, to N22.7 trillion in 2023.”

The assertion was contained in a paper he delivered at a 1-Day Technical Session for Speakers of State Houses of Assembly organized by PERL-ECP in collaboration with the Conference of Speakers held in Abuja on Thursday, with the theme: Effective Leadership for Emerging Legislatures: Lessons, Challenges, Opportunities and Recommendation.

He stressed that, “Section 38 of the CBN Act of 2007 above referred to empowers the Bank to grant temporary advances to the government.

But sub-Section 2 there ofclearly circumscribes the amount that can be so advanced to the government in the words of the sub section, “Total amount of such advances outstanding shall not at any time exceed five per cent of the
previous year’s actual revenue of the federal government”.

According to him, “The next subsection is also quite clear on the repayment of such advances, stating in express terms that they shall be repaid “As soon as possible and shall, in any event, be repayable by the end of the Federal Government financial year in which they are granted and if such advances remain unpaid at the end of the year, the power of the Bank to grant such further advances in any subsequent years shall not be exercisable unless the outstanding advances have been repaid”.

Dogara added that, “In the days when the powers of the legislature were in ascendancy, such a request from the Executive would be declared dead on arrival. The Parliament was in a quandary of monumental propositions because even if it had amended the CBN Act like it was subsequently done in one fell swoop, such a measure can not confer legality on violations of the the laws that have taken place before the amendment.

“Only a rogue legislature would give any legislative measure a retrospective effect. But to demonstrate that we are led by the whims of powerful individuals and not the law, this manifestly and patently illegal advances of a whooping N22.7trillion was passed by one of the Houses of the national parliament.”

The former Speaker added that, “Thankfully, the other House didn’t even look at it. This is just one example, so many such cases are becoming routine in legislatures at all levels. Where there is effective leadership in a legislature that is alive to its responsibilities, the executive can not approach the legislature to put a legislative stamp on such brazen illegality.”

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