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$496m fighter jets: Let’s use constitution to impeach Buhari ― Senator Utazi

For not seeking National Assembly’s approval before withdrawing $496million used for the purchase of aircraft from the United States, some senators have called for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment. Fighter Jets

Section 143 of the Nigerian constitution provides for the removal of the president from office.

Moving a motion on the issue on Thursday, Matthew Uroghide, Edo State, said President Buhari’s move was a violation of the constitution and thus, he should face the consequences.

He prayed the Senate to invoke Section 143 to start the impeachment process of the president.

See Also: $496m fighter jets: Finally, Buhari formally seeks Senate approval for purchase

Seconding the motion, Chukwuka Utazi spoke in support of the move.

“This is an impeachable offence,” an obviously angry Mr Utazi, said. Fighter jets

President Buhari had said he gave approval for the withdrawal of the fund because he believed the National Assembly would have no objection to his action.

His explanation was conveyed in a letter read at the Senate on Wednesday. A copy of the letter had earlier been sent to the House of Representatives.

Read more: https://bit.ly/2FldHSW

Some senators at the plenary on Thursday, called for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the withdrawal of $496m from the Excess Crude Account to purchase military aircraft without National Assembly’s approval.

Most of the lawmakers, who spoke on the withdrawal and spending pointed out that the President had breached Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution, while a few disagreed.

The 12 Super Tucano aircraft ordered from the United States would be delivered in 2020.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had on Wednesday read a letter from Buhari in which he admitted that the money had been withdrawn and paid to the US ahead of the legislative approval. This, he said, was done to beat the deadline for the arms deal.

On Tuesday, the letter was slated for consideration and referral to the relevant committee but Senator Mathew Uroghide, who had protested against the expenditure on Wednesday, moved a motion for Buhari’s impeachment for violation of the constitution.

Uroghide, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, specifically urged Saraki to allow the Senate to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution against the President. Fighter jets

He said, “Any amount of money that has to be spent from the Federation Account, must be appropriated by the National Assembly. This one has not been appropriated by the National Assembly and therefore breaches the provisions of the constitution.

“The Senate is not unmindful of the fact that the objective of this expenditure has been well established, but the procedure for this expenditure is wrong. There ought to have been appropriation before this money was spent.”

Uroghide added, “There are serious consequences for the violation of our constitution. As a consequence, the only thing that we can draw from on this is that, we call on you (Saraki) to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution. What it means is that this matter does not need to be investigated; it is clear that this offence has been committed by Mr. President.” Fighter jets

Seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi stated that it was time for the legislature to be decisive. He noted that Sections 80 and 81 of the constitution stated the powers of the legislature on spending by the executive and how the executive should manage its finances.

The 12 Super Tucano aircraft ordered from the United States would be delivered in 2020.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had on Wednesday read a letter from Buhari in which he admitted that the money had been withdrawn and paid to the US ahead of the legislative approval. This, he said, was done to beat the deadline for the arms deal.

On Tuesday, the letter was slated for consideration and referral to the relevant committee but Senator Mathew Uroghide, who had protested against the expenditure on Wednesday, moved a motion for Buhari’s impeachment for violation of the constitution.

Uroghide, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, specifically urged Saraki to allow the Senate to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution against the President.

He said, “Any amount of money that has to be spent from the Federation Account, must be appropriated by the National Assembly. This one has not been appropriated by the National Assembly and therefore breaches the provisions of the constitution.

“The Senate is not unmindful of the fact that the objective of this expenditure has been well established, but the procedure for this expenditure is wrong. There ought to have been appropriation before this money was spent.”

Uroghide added, “There are serious consequences for the violation of our constitution. As a consequence, the only thing that we can draw from on this is that, we call on you (Saraki) to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution. What it means is that this matter does not need to be investigated; it is clear that this offence has been committed by Mr. President.”

Seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi stated that it was time for the legislature to be decisive. He noted that Sections 80 and 81 of the constitution stated the powers of the legislature on spending by the executive and how the executive should manage its finances.

For not seeking National Assembly’s approval before withdrawing $496million used for the purchase of aircraft from the United States, some senators have called for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment.

Section 143 of the Nigerian constitution provides for the removal of the president from office.

Moving a motion on the issue on Thursday, Matthew Uroghide, Edo State, said President Buhari’s move was a violation of the constitution and thus, he should face the consequences.

He prayed the Senate to invoke Section 143 to start the impeachment process of the president.

Fighter Jets

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