The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wants the National Assembly to probe the alleged withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) without the constitutionally required legislative appropriation.
The party also called on the lawmakers to sanction President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly violating his oath of office by illegally withdrawing and spending $I billion
PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, accused President Buhari of unilaterally spending of $496 million (aboutN151.374 billion) from the ECA, without recourse to the legislative approval of the National Assembly, which it said, is a gross violation of the laws and constitution of Nigerian and a direct affront to statutory order as a democratic state.
“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,” the party noted.
The statement said it was most disturbing that President Buhari allegedly 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.
This, PDP added amounted to a gross misconduct and betrayal of public trust, adding that the president deliberately side-stepped statutory legislative scrutiny and acted in clear breach of section 80 (3) (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“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,” PDP stated.
The party recalled that when the issue of the $1 billion ECA withdrawal came out the presidency, through his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, denied it, assuring that President Buhari would never act in breach of section 80 of the constitution; “yet they were aware that payments have been made.
“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.
“While we have nothing against any effort to ensure adequate security in our land, we insist that such must be done within the ambits of due process of our laws and the constitution.
“The PDP urges President Donald Trump, as the President of the world’s biggest democracy, to note that the $469 million paid for the purchase of military aircraft, forms part of proceed for illegal activities of our President, who has violated statutory provisions of our constitution to pursue a selfish agenda.
“We, therefore, charge the National Assembly to investigate the whereabouts of the balance from the $1bn ECA fund and the purposes for which it has been taken, as well as save our democracy and constitutional order by invoking appropriate legislative processes against President Buhari for this violation before it becomes too late.”