Members of the National Assembly have been urged to initiate impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the release of $1 billion (N350 billion) to finance the war against Boko Haram without appropriation by the Legislature.
The charge came from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Thursday, April 5, 2018, which accused the President of gross misconduct in unilaterally approving the release of the fund without allowing for the application of legislative instrument.
The PDP alleged that the President deliberately ignored the National Assembly in the approval to avoid scrutiny, adding that from its investigation, the money is meant to finance Buhari’s re-election campaign.
On Wednesday, Buhari gave approval for the money to buy more arms and other equipment for the military to intensify the fight against Boko Haram insurgents, which the Federal Government said had been technically defeated.
The PDP, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, also asked Nigerians to reject and resist the renewed attempt by the Presidency to loot $1billion from the national coffers to finance Buhari’s interests in the All Progressives Congress, APC’’s, national convention and 2019 campaigns.
It urged NASS to “commence appropriate constitutional legislative actions against President Buhari for gross misconduct in unilaterally approving the release of the fund without allowing for the application of legislative instrument.”
The opposition PDP added that its investigation revealed that the “Presidency wilfully sidestepped the National Assembly so as to avoid legislative scrutiny and accountability and pave the way for the diverting of the fund for selfish partisan purposes.
Ologbondiyan said: “It is a notorious fact that the Presidency and the APC have been plotting to loot this $1 billion from our heavily depleted Excess Crude Account (ECA) since last year, using the guise of the fight against insurgency.
“This is the same Buhari administration that has been boasting of having technically defeated the insurgents. This is also an administration that is not known to have exhausted subsisting budgetary allocations for defence.
“Nigerians are thoroughly disappointed that President Buhari; the same African Union (AU) ‘anti-corruption champion’, who swore to be above board and to protect the constitution and our laws, will allow himself to fall for the temptation of resorting to ways and means which are totally at variance with the laws and all democratic tenets.
“Democracy thrives on constitutional processes of separation of powers, due diligence and transparency and not on totalitarian tendencies,” he said.
The PDP urged the National Assembly to look into the constitution and impose appropriate legislative instruments against Buhari, if any part of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) had been breached by his unilateral decision.
It further appealed to the National Assembly to scrutinize the Constitution and other statute books for the purposes of “strengthening the laws guiding the application of funds in our country, particularly under this inherently corrupt and incompetent administration.”