- A National Assembly joint committee fails to reconcile disparities between the N189bn budget submitted by INEC and the N143bn contained in President Buhari's letter to lawmakers
- The chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif, assures Nigerians that lawmakers will ensure that the electoral body conducts credible, free and fair elections in 2019
- Nigerian senators demand probe into invasion of National Assembly by DSS operatives
A meeting members of the joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives held with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the budget for the 2019 elections ended in a stalemate on Thursday, August 16.
The stalemate followed the inability of the joint committee to reconcile disparities between the N189bn budget submitted by the electoral body and the N143bn contained in the president’s letter to the National Assembly on the same subject, Vanguard reports.
Against this backdrop, the lawmakers have re-invited the national chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, to appear before it on Friday, August 17, to further clarify discrepancies noticed in its 2019 election budget.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Suleiman Nazif, assured Nigerians that the lawmakers would ensure that INEC conducts credible, free and fair elections in 2019.
He said: “As we are all aware, Wednesday, we invited the chairman of INEC, who was in the National Assembly to address the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. And today (yesterday), our duty and responsibility was to try to harmonise what transpired between both houses and ensure that we cross the t’s and dot the i’s.
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“The whole meeting was called consequent upon the letter of Mr President requesting supplementary and virement for the general elections of 2019.
“We have done what we needed to have done. And we have realised that there are a little bit of differences. In view of that, it is the opinion of members of this joint committee that we invite the chairman of INEC for further clarifications tomorrow (today) at 11am.”
Meanwhile, following the invasion of the National Assembly by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian senators have demanded a judicial probe into the incident, The Punch reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that Senator Isa Hamma Misau, the chairman Senate committee on navy, and his counterpart in the committee on banking, insurance and other financial institutions, Senator Rafiu Ibrahim, have revealed plans to sponsor a motion to urge the executive to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the incident.
A joint statement they both signed in Abuja on Thursday, August 16, explained that it would be in the national interest to have an open inquiry which would enable Nigerians to know what led to the siege and those behind the plot to illegally take over the National Assembly.
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