PDP to NASS: Probe ‘missing’ $1bn ECA security fund
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the National Assembly to probe the alleged missing $1billion drawn by President Muhammadu Buhari from Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the purpose of purchasing arms.
The main opposition party in a statement by it national spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja on Sunday advised the lawmakers to respond to demands by Nigerians by immediately setting up an adhoc committee to recover the money approved for the President by the National Economic Council (NEC) in 2017.
The party demanded that the National Assembly, as true representatives of the people, should be firm in invoking its powers under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to invite President Buhari to give account of the money, “which was drawn from the ECA by his Presidency, without recourse to legislative appropriation.”
The demand by the PDP the statement said 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 (rtd), “who is in charge of the nation’s security architecture, confessed that he is not aware of the whereabouts of the money.”
The statement added: “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, urged 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 implored 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 called 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.
“This is especially as an 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 festers in our country,” the statement added.
The PDP noted 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.”