What has been described as the breaking of appropriation laws in Nigeria has put the executive and legislative arms of government at loggerheads again.
For not seeking National Assembly’s approval before withdrawing $496million used for the purchase of aircraft from the United States, some senators have called for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment.
Section 143 of the Nigerian constitution provides for the removal of the president from office. Moving a motion on the issue on Thursday, Matthew Uroghide, Edo State, said President Buhari’s move was a violation of the constitution and thus, he should face the consequences.
He prayed the Senate to invoke Section 143 to start the impeachment process of the president. Seconding the motion, Chukwuka Utazi spoke in support of the move.
“This is an impeachable offence,” an obviously angry Mr Utazi, said.
President Buhari had said he gave approval for the withdrawal of the fund because he believed the National Assembly would have no objection to his action.
His explanation was conveyed in a letter read at the Senate on Wednesday. A copy of the letter had earlier been sent to the House of Representatives. Mr Buhari explained the processes that led to the approval.
“I wish to draw the attention of the Senate to the ongoing security emergencies in the nation. These challenges were discussed with the state governors and subsequently at the meeting ot the National Economic Council on the 14th of December 2017 where a resolution was passed with the council approving that up to $1 billion may be released and utilised from the Excess Crude Account to address the situation.”
More senators are currently speaking on the issue in plenary.
Watch a video of the plenary below: