Members of the Senate have asked that the process to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari be started, for failing to get the approval for the withdrawal of $496m from the Excess Crude Account to purchase military aircraft.
Senator Matthew Uroghide who moved the motion for the impeachment, 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, Senator Chukwuka Utazi spoke in support of the move.
“This is an impeachable offence,” an obviously angry Senator Utazi, said.
Saraki had on Wednesday read a letter from Buhari ?in which the President disclosed that the money had been withdrawn and paid to the United States for the 12 Super Tucano aircraft, ahead of legislative approval. This, he said, was done to beat the deadline for the arms deal. The planes will be delivered in 2020.
The President said, “Recently, approval was granted by the United States government but with a deadline, within which part payment must be made otherwise the contract relapses. In the expectation that the National Assembly will have no objection to the purchase of these highly specialised aircraft, which is critical to national security, I granted anticipatory approval for the release of $496,374,470. This was paid directly into the treasury of the United States government.
“I am therefore writing seeking approval of the Senate for the sum of $496,374,470 (equivalent to N151,394, 421,035) to be included in the 2018 Appropriation Bill which the National Assembly is currently finalising. The balance of the requirement for critical operational equipment is still being collated from the different security services and will be presented in the form of a supplementary appropriation bill in due cause.”