Prof. Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, PACAC, has said that the Federal Government could invoke the “doctrine of necessity” to fund the 2019 elections, if the National Assembly refuses to pass the budget for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
According to Prof. Itse Sagay, in a signed statement he issued on Wednesday, the overriding necessity of elections and the survival of democracy supersede the powers of the National Assembly where the country’s democracy is threatened. He also said that the power to approve the budget was only a single item in the constitution.
The statements reads, “The failure or refusal by the National Assembly to approve funds for the 2019 election will constitute a sabotage of our democracy, of which the Constitution is the embodiment.
“If elections are not held, it will mean the collapse of our democracy, leading to chaos and anarchy. The question that arises is simple.
“Which is more critical to democracy and the survival of Nigeria: Is it (1) the power of the National Assembly to approve budgets or (2) the survival of democracy and Nigeria itself?
“If the survival of democracy is more important and fundamental to Nigeria’s existence, then failure to approve the budget for elections will trigger the doctrine of necessity, thus compelling the funding of election without the approval of the National Assembly.
“It is simply a question of the survival of democracy and the continued existence of Nigeria. The power of approval of the budget is just a single item in the whole of the Constitution.
“On the contrary, elections and democracy which they support, constitute what the whole Constitution is about.
“Therefore, the overriding necessity and imperative of elections and democracy simply override the power of National Assembly.
“If the National Assembly refuses or fails to approve the budget for election, the doctrine of necessity will validate the provision of the funds without the National Assembly’s approval.”