National Assembly May Override Yar’Adua’s Veto On Extra Budget
He, however, said that the last option available to the National Assembly, after all options would have been explored would be to resort to the provision of the 1999 constitution.
“We are going to be engaged in a constructive process and we are going to explore all the necessary avenues on the matter but where there is a need to resort to the provision of the constitution on the matter, the House would do so. We have to resort to constructive engagement but if that is exhausted, the constitutional provision has to be resorted to,” he said.
Eyiboh further said that the only thing that the House was working on was the development of the country through good laws and not any official position on the health of the president, adding that it would be unfair for the chamber to begin to take an official position on the matter.
“The most important thing is to raise the ante of national development. There is no basis for any official position on the health of the president. There are allowances in the law. It will be unfair for us to take a position now. Our position is that as much as we are concerned about the health of the president, we are committed to the contract with the people,” he said.
Section 59(4) of the 1999 constitution says where the president cannot assent to a bill sent to him by the National Assembly within 30 days, the legislature can override his veto. It reads: “Where the president, within 30 days after the presentation of the bill to him, fails to signify his assent, or where he withholds assent, then the bill shall again, be presented to National Assembly sitting at a joint meeting, and if passed by two-thirds majority of members of both Houses at such joint meeting, the bill shall become law and the assent of the president shall not be required.”
The chairman assured that the House would pass the 2010 in record time and that what is happening to the president would not affect the budget, reiterating that the 2010 budget would meet the aspirations of Nigerians.