A Federal Lawmaker has described the approval of $1 Billion Arms Fund as an attempt by President Muhammadu Buhari to circumvent the Nigerian Constitution.
Chairman, House Committee on Army, Mr. Rimamnde Shawulu, was speaking on Sunrise Daily on Channels Television on Monday.
“You’ve already approved and almost buying the arms then you’re just sending it to the National Assembly for approval. Indirectly , you’ve created an impression that the National Assembly isn’t important.
” It is surprising that the debate on the $1 billion that has started December 2017 is just being sent to the National Assembly. The president should have done this long before now.
“This simply means that there is an attempt to abridge the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Executive,” Rimamnde said.
How the controversy started
It began in December 14, 2017 in Abuja, where 36 state governors approved the withdrawal of $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account by the federal government to be used in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-east.
Presidency has since claimed that the huge sum isn’t just for Boko Haram, “It is to tackle the general problem of insecurity in Nigeria,” Spokesman to the President Femi Adeshina said last week.
Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, had briefed State House correspondents after the meeting of the National Economic Council which held inside the council chamber of the Presidential Villa Abuja, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The Governor of Gombe State, who spoke on the money in 2017 had also said the Excess Crude Account had a balance of $2.317 billion as at December 13, 2017.
But the $1 billion arms fund has been a hot debate as to the legality of the withdrawal without the lawmakers’ approval.
Opposition has alleged that the ruling party was planning to use the money to rig the 2019 General Elections.