The Leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has charged the National Assembly to invoke Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution to summon President Muhammadu Buhari to answer questions on the $1 billion withdrawn from the Excess Crude Account, ECA.
Recall that the Presidency had, in 2017, withdrawn the fund for the purchase of Tucano fighter Aircraft from the United States of America, USA, without the approval of the National Assembly.
In a statement Sunday by the Spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party specifically called on the Federal Lawmakers to set up an Ad hoc Committee to “recover” the sum, allegedly “missing” from the ECA.
“The party craves the National Assembly, 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,” the PDP said.
According to the party, the call for Buhari’s interrogation is predicated on allegations of complicity in the public space against the Presidency, following its failure to address the matter since.
The PDP recalled a recent media report allegedly credited to the National Security Adviser, NSA, Gen. Babagana Mongunu claiming not to be aware of the status of the fund.
The statement further stated: “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 channeling 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 the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the cabal at the Presidency to sweep the matter under the carpet”.
The PDP urged the Legislators to reflect on the pains of Nigerians, particularly, victims of killings, bloodlettings, kidnappings and other acts of violence, which the party said, has continued unrepressed, while funds meant for security were reportedly being frittered.
“This is especially as allegation in the public space remains rife that funds meant for security in our nation were diverted to finance APC 2019 election campaigns, while insecurity festers in our country.
“The PDP notes that since the Buhari 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,” the statement added.