Legal Practitioner Says APC’s Block Budget Directive Not Filibustering

A legal practitioner, Idaye Opi, on Wednesday said the Block Budget Directive by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress to its members in the … Continue reading Legal Practitioner Says APC’s Block Budget Directive Not Filibustering


A legal practitioner, Idaye Opi, on Wednesday said the Block Budget Directive by the leadership of the All Progressives Congress to its members in the National Assembly is not ‘filibustering,’ as it claims.

According to the lawyer, filibustering is a concept used by parliament to delay debates, but that current situation involving the PDP led government, the national budget and the APC is “a different ball game.”

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mr Opi referred to Section 4(2) of the Nigerian constitution which states that “the underlining reason for law making or for the exercise of legislative power is for the peace, order and good government of Nigeria” which means that “for you to make law, the debate and contributions must be based on the order, peace and good government of Nigeria.”

“It does not mean that you have to base it on a directive from your party, outside of the assembly, because your party cannot ask you to breach the constitution,” he added.

He faulted the APC lawmakers for taking instruction from the party in matters of State, adding that “all the members of the Assembly took oath of office to defend the constitution and if you are going to make law and your consideration is not order, peace and good government of Nigeria, but what your party told you, it is a breach of that section of the constitution.”

Mr Opi who insisted that the directive is not filibustering said the concept is applicable only in matters concerning bills before the parliament. “If a bill is given and you don’t understand or you agree with the contents of the bill, you use filibustering to insist that they amend or correct it.”

The crisis in Rivers State has been cited as the bone of contention for which the opposition has insisted that the President intervene but Mr Opi insists that a law suit would be appropriate to solve the problem.

According to him, filibustering can be used “for issues that are nonjusticiable” but “the things they are talking about in APC are justiciable. They can go to court.”

“You can challenge the powers of the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State as well as challenge things by the Jonathan led administration which they do not like.

“It’s not filibustering; they can call it anything they like. It’s not filibustering,” he said.

Mr Opi gave example of the disagreement between the lawmakers and the executive arm over the crude oil benchmark as an act of filibustering but that the crisis in Rivers State is not as a result of any bill and so filibustering does not apply to it.