Senator Dino Melaye, now a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, member, has on Thursday, cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari, informing him that the National Assembly is not a department in the Presidency.
Senator Melaye noted this in a statement in Abuja, in reaction to President Buhari’s remarks when signing the 2018 Appropriation Bill, on Wednesday.
Senator Melaye expressed concern that Buhari’s comments indicated that the Legislators padded the budget.
“I notice that the President is trying to whip up sentiments against the National Assembly again, by alleging that the 2018 budget was padded.
“What the President is authorised to do constitutionally, is to present the National Assembly with a Bill; a Bill is a work-in-progress and not the finished work.
“The reason the Constitution directs the Bill to be submitted to the National Assembly, is that it expects the National Assembly to vet it and make inputs, before passing it in readiness for the Appropriation Act.
“The National Assembly is not expected to rubber stamp whatever Bill the President presents.
“If this was the norm, there would have been no need for the Constitution to direct that the Bill should be submitted to the National Assembly in the first place”, he said.
The Lawmaker, added that the President reserved the right not to append his signature, if he was not convinced of what the Legislature did as an Institution.