Reps probe Presidency over $460m arms importation

Reps probe Presidency over $460m arms importation

House of Representatives has directed its committees on Ethics and Privileges, and Finance to seek explanations on the alleged Nigeria’s payment of $460 million to the United States of America for the supply arms, without appropriation of such funds by the National Assembly.

Watch Also: Unauthorised payment of N1.4trn subsidy, impeachable offense ― Rep. Karimi

This came as a member, Toby Okechukwu at the House’s plenary yesterday raised a point of order to the effect that his personal as well as the collective privileges of the House has been breached, as executive arm of the federal government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Bihari, has formed the habit of “taking over the power to appropriate funds” from the consolidated revenue fund of the country, as enshrined in the constitution.

The lawmaker, citing Sections 4 and 80 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and the Legislative Powers and Privileges Act, argued that with such practices of unilateral expenditure without recourse to the parliament, “there is no way you can ensure value for money without scrutiny of the National Assembly.”

Ruling on the matter, Speaker Yakubu Digara described the allegation as “a very serious matter” which needed to be ascertained before the House takes a position. “It can be regarded as stealing for any money to be spent from the From page 1 federation account, without approval of the National Assembly as required by the Constitution, but I don’t think the US will receive stolen money,” he said. He, therefore, directed that the committee move to ascertain the allegation. The House Committee on Finance is currently in the process of investigating the alleged clandestine payment of subsidy on petrol, value for which is currently put at about N1.4 trillion, even after the current government said subsidy on the product had been abrogated, and also for reportedly doing so without approval of the National Assembly.

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