…Invoke Section 89 on Buhari, PDP urges NASS
…PDP should keep quiet when we’re talking about corruption — APC

By Omeiza Ajayi & Dirisu Yakubu

ABUJA—Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged the National Assembly to immediately set up an ad-hoc committee to recover the $1 billion allegedly drawn from Excess Crude Account, ECA, by the Presidency in 2017 purportedly for security services.

PDP, APC
PDP And APC

The party also counselled the federal lawmakers, as true representatives of the people, to be firm in invoking its powers under Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to give account of the money, which was drawn from the ECA by his Presidency, without recourse to legislative appropriation.

But the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in a swift reaction, yesterday, asked the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to keep quiet whenever the issue of corruption was being discussed.

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National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who gave the charge while responding to Vanguard enquiries with regards to the call by PDP on the National Assembly to probe President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s spending of the $1 billion withdrawn from ECA to fight insurgency, said: “The Presidency is already providing facts regarding the matter and I do not think I should give PDP the importance, which they do not deserve. PDP should keep quiet when we are talking about corruption.’’

However, PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said its demand was predicated on allegations of complicity in the public space against the Buhari Presidency, following its failure to address the matter since the National Security Adviser, NSA, Gen. Babagana Mongunu (retd), who is in charge of the nation’s security architecture, confessed that he was not aware of the whereabouts of the money.

The statement read: “Whereas section 88 gives the National Assembly the overriding powers to conduct investigations to, among other things, expose corruption and inefficiency in administration of public funds, section 89 empowers it, among other things, to summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence or produce any document under his possession or control, related to the issues under investigation.

“The PDP, therefore, urges the National Assembly to uphold the constitution by inviting President Buhari to produce documents that approved the withdrawal of the money, the terms of withdrawal, the channelling of the funds, as well as those involved in its handling.

“The party further implores the federal legislature to stand in the interest of the nation and resist all plots by All Progressives Congress, APC, and the cabal at the Presidency to sweep the matter under the carpet.

“The PDP calls on the legislators to reflect on the pains of Nigerians, particularly, victims of killings, bloodlettings, kidnappings and other acts of violence, which continued unrepressed, while funds meant for security were reportedly being frittered.

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“This is especially as allegation in the public space remain rife that funds meant for security in our nation were diverted to finance APC 2019 election campaigns, while insecurity fester in our country.

“The PDP notes that since the Buhari-led Presidency and the APC do not have any cogent clarifications, the National Assembly should exercise its investigative powers under the constitution to interrogate the issue as well as recover the money in the general interest.”

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