Chris Steven, Abuja
Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Honourable Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun has said that the only organ of government enjoying relative independence is the Judiciary.
Honourable Lasun who made this remark at the just concluded15th Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference, African region, in Accra, Ghana,explained that the functions of both the executives and legislative arm are intertwined.
Fielding questions from journalists after the session, he noted that government, particularly the executive, cannot do anything without coming to the parliament in the manner that will help them to carry out their policies and programmes.
“For example, the most important bill in the House is the Appropriation Bill, when executive plans the budget every year, they bring it to the National Assembly because it is only the legislative arm that has the power to appropriate money.
If you look at this important area, the executive cannot say they’re independent and the legislature too has to, in the process of approving the budget, sit down and seek reasons with the executive once in a while”.
“I tried to understand it in the point of view of the Nigerian experience, that if you look at Nigeria very well, it’s probably the Judiciary that is actually very independent. Both the legislature and the executive in Nigeria are not independent because they have to overlap, and it’s simple”, he stated.
“One other part which I find very intriguing and the executive is not trying to understand is that when a party goes out for campaigning, it presents its manifesto to the public. Immediately you get to government, any responsible government will now want to turn those items on the manifesto to policies of government” he added.
Honourable Lasun explained further that some of policies at the end of the day may have to get legal backing, so you have to write normal bills to come to the House for proper legislation.
He noted that this is an important area the executive has not been living up to expectation.