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PDP, PANDEF seek further inquiry into $1b security fund

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(Photo by AUDU MARTE / AFP)

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday charged the National Assembly to immediately invite President Muhammadu Buhari to explain how $1 billion allegedly disappeared from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).

It further urged the federal legislature to set up a special ad hoc committee to commence a comprehensive investigation as “part of measures for recovering the $1 billion drawn from the ECA by the Buhari presidency in 2017 purportedly for security services.”

The main opposition party, in a statement, asked the National Assembly, as true representatives of the people, to be firm in invoking its powers in Sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to invite the president to give account of the money, which was said to have been drawn from the ECA by his administration “without recourse to legislative appropriation.”

PDP said its demand is predicated on allegations of complicity in the public space against the current government, “following its failure to address the matter since the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Mongunu (rtd), who is in charge of the nation’s security architecture, confessed that he is not aware of the whereabouts of the money.”

The political grouping demanded that Buhari should produce documents that approved the withdrawal, the terms as well as the channeling of the funds and those involved in its handling.

It further implored the federal lawmakers to “stand in the interest of the nation and resist all plots by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the cabal at the presidency to sweep the matter under the carpet.”

PDP called on the legislators to reflect on the “pains of Nigerians, particularly, victims of killings, bloodlettings, kidnappings and other acts of violence, which have continued unrepressed, while funds meant for security were reportedly being frittered away.”

It claimed: “This is especially as allegation in the public space remains rife that funds meant for security in our nation were diverted to finance APC’s 2019 election campaigns, while insecurity festers in our country.”

Also yesterday, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) demanded that the law should immediately take its course if there was a breach in the application of the fund.

Its Secretary General, Dr. Alfred Mulade, told The Guardian that while no one was opposed to the withdrawal of the money to fight the insecurity in the North East, it was, however, imperative that there should be proper accountability of the huge sum.

He explained that the controversy surrounding the deployment of the funds should be resolved in the interest of Nigerians.

The group enjoined government to consider taking similar extra-budgetary measures in addressing the environmental challenges confronting the Niger Delta.


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