- There is protest at the Senate over the recent withdrawal of $496 million ( N178.56 billion) for 12 Super Tucano aircraft
- The senator representing Edo South, Mathew Uroghide said the action of President Buhari is illegal
- According to Uroghide, he was taken aback on the payment made for the Tucano aircraft
Senators at the upper chamber are currently protesting the recent purchase of the 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States of America by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Raising a point of order the senator representing Edo South, Mathew Uroghide declared the president's action illegal. He said the letter from the president which was read by the Senate president is a violation of some of the provisions of the constitution.
The senator also said he was taken aback on the payment made for the Tucano aircraft.
“I heard very clearly when you read the letter that came from Mr. President over the payment that was made for the Tucano aircraft. I was completely taken aback because I represent a people.
"This letter that you just read to us now, with due respect to the office and the status of Mr. President, I want to say that what he just said, which you just read to us, is a violation of some of the provisions of the constitution. I stand on it with every vehemence and I want to read Section 80 (1),(2),(3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution," Uroghide said.
Referring to the section of the constitution that affects the purchase, he said no Nigerian citizen is allowed to make any disbursement or any approval coming from any quarter without approval or appropriation from the National Assembly.
“What you have just read to us violates these provisions. Mr. President couldn’t have ever, and no Nigerian citizen that is up and active under the provisions of the constitution, is allowed to make any disbursement or any approval coming from any quarter, whether it is by the Council of State of the Federation or the committee of the governors or anybody in the Presidency, without approval or appropriation from this Assembly.
“I think it is important that we remind ourselves, because if we sit down here, posterity will judge us," he added.
Interjecting, the Senate president Bukola Saraki said, the matter on the aircraft purchase will be taken by the Senate another time.
“You raised a very valid point. You came under privileges and you are making a point on the subject matter. Fine, but the point is that this has come now as a communication. What we are going to do is that, you will have your day in being able to express your views. This has come as a communication now; we will have to deter it," Saraki noted.
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NAIJ.com earlier reported that President Buhari ordered the withdrawal of $462 million from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the procurement of 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the US. The ordered was made known to the National Assembly through a letter by the president.
President Buhari said he gave the directive for the withdrawal because he believed the lawmakers would not have any form of objection against his action.
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