For allegedly withdrawing and spending $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) without the constitutionally required legislative appropriation, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged the National Assembly to commence constitutional processes against President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a public statement on Monday (today) in Abuja through its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said President Buhari was aware that his unilateral spending of $496 million (N151.374 billion) from the ECA, without recourse to the legislative approval of the National Assembly, was a gross violation of the laws and constitution of Nigerian.
“By this action, President Buhari has technically suspended the 1999 Constitution (as amended), plundered the inherent powers of the National Assembly as the principal institution of democratic rule, while re-enacting a sole administratorship in governance as if our nation is operating a military regime.
“More disturbing is the revelation that President Buhari paid the $496 million for the purchase of military aircraft from the United States, ignoring allegations of overprice and issues concerning due process, just to achieve a political expediency of currying President Donald Trump’s support for his 2019 re-election bid.
“The PDP states that President Buhari’s action amounts to a gross misconduct and betrayal of public trust because in the bid to push a personal agenda, he deliberately side-stepped statutory legislative scrutiny and acted in clear breach of section 80 (3) (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“While section 80 (3) states that “no moneys shall withdrawn from any public fund of the federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation unless the issues of those moneys has been authorized by an act of the National Assembly”, section 80 (4) provides that “no moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the federation except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.”
“The resort to falsehood, deception and secrecy in the withdrawal from the ECA and the reported $469 million payment for the military aircraft raises very serious issues regarding the integrity of the Buhari Presidency
“It is shocking that President Buhari, whose administration prides on claims of transparency and zero tolerance for corruption, elected on a platform that lay claims to the height of progressivism, who boasts of the highest standards of integrity, can mundanely resort to a violent abuse of our constitution just to suit a desperate passion of seeking re-election,” Ologbondiyan said.