31 January 2013

Nigeria: SEC - Activist Seeks Halt of Appropriation Bill 2013

A Lagos lawyer, Mr Leon Mbakwe, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, to restrain President Goodluck Jonathan from assenting to the Appropriation Bill 2013 as passed by the National Assembly, until Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC budget was included in the budget.

Mbakwe is contending in the suit that the non-approval of SEC's appropriation by the House of Representatives, which had demanded the sack of the commission's Director General, Ms Aruma Oteh, would cause hardship to workers of the commission.

He is contending that the zero allocation to SEC and the position of the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives to revenue generated by SEC constitute threat to life of workers of the Commission, who will be subjected to starvation and in danger of death by starvation for non-payment of salary, which is a natural consequence of the actions of the National Assembly.

"By virtue of Section 34(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the withdrawal of budget proposals for SEC and not making any allocation to the Commission shall be subjected to inhuman treatment of working and not being paid and this will in turn affect their dignity as responsible citizens of Nigeria," he argued.

He is further contending that his right to property in stock market by way of shares is threatened, as without supervision of SEC, stock market may collapse and his property and investments lose everything, if the respondents were not restrained from passing the 2013 appropriation bill.

Mbakwe is further contending in the suit that the respondents failed to consider that the well-being of Nigerians will be affected by their action contrary to their constitutional duty enshrined in Section 4(1) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

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