Buhari Seeks Reps Approval After Authorising $496m For Spending

President Muhammadu Buhari  AFP

President Muhammadu Buhari AFP

President Muhammadu Buhari has been misled to approve $469 million for the procurement of 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States without the backing of the national assembly, a source told TheCable.

The Pentagon a year ago August notified the U.S. Congress of the sale to Nigeria of the 12 Super Tucano A-29 planes and weapons worth $593 million, needed for the fight against the militant group, Boko Haram.

The Guardian reports that trouble started immediately after the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, read out the president's communication on the money approximately put at about N151,394,421,355.00.

Mr Chinda, of the Peoples Democratic Party, was concerned over the payment of $496 million to the United States Government by the Buhari administration for the much needed 12 Super Tucano fighter jets.

But soon after Dogara read the letter, the lawmakers took turns to say that the breach has committed constitutional breach, which could lead to impeachment.

Majority of the Rep members supported Chinda's point of order with only a few objecting to it.

Emmanuel Orkev-Jev (Benue-APC) called for caution, arguing it was needless "putting the cart before the horse" on the issue since it had not been slated for deliberations in line with the House Standing Rules. The House members were left infuriated by the decision after the Speaker, Hon.

I am therefore writing, seeking approval of the House for the sum of $496, 374, 470 (Equivalent to N151, 394, 421, 335.00) to be included in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, which the National Assembly is now finalising.

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Both the House Deputy Minority Leader, Chukwuka Onyema and Tajudeen Yusuf (Kogi-PDP) who spoke in the same vein urged their colleagues in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) not to take partisan position over a matter that was a clear impeachable offence.

"We should jettison the idea of being partisan in all situations".

"You are talking about anticipatory approval, is this House a rubber stamp?" The issue of procedure does not arise.

Buhari said he expected the lawmakers to back the purchase of this aircraft which he said was critical to national security and therefore went on with the approval.

Similarly, Sunday Karimi said the House should write the president and inform him in clear terms that he has breached the constitution and should be prepared to face the consequences. "While section 80 (3) states that "no moneys shall withdrawn from any public fund of the federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation unless the issues of those moneys has been authorized by an act of the National Assembly", section 80 (4) provides that "no moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the federation except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly".

President Buhari, whose action has sparked debate of his impeachment by the House, said in a letter to the lower legislative chamber that he authorised the withdrawal of the sum from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) in anticipation of their approval.

Dogara, who condemned the attack warned that acts that could threaten the country's democracy would be resisted by Nigerians.

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