By Suleiman Adamu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the National Assembly to respond to demands by Nigerians by immediately setting up an adhoc committee to recover the allegedly missing $1bn drawn from the Excess Crude Account by the Buhari Presidency in 2017, purportedly for security services.
According to a statement from its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said it craves the National Assembly, as true representatives of the people, to be firm in invoking its powers under sections 88 and 89 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to give account of the money, which was drawn from the ECA by his Presidency, without recourse to legislative appropriation.
The PDP explained that its demand is predicated on allegations of complicity in the public space against the Buhari Presidency, 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 party said, whereas Section 88 gives the National Assembly the overriding powers to conduct investigations to, among other things, expose corruption and inefficiency in administration of public funds, section 89 empowers it, among other things, to summon ANY PERSON in Nigeria to give evidence or produce any document under his possession or control, related to the issues under investigation
The PDP urged the National Assembly to uphold the constitution by inviting President Buhari to produce documents that approved the withdrawal of the money, the terms of withdrawal, the channeling of the funds, as well as those involved in its handling.
The party further implored the federal legislature 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.
The PDP called on the legislators to reflect on the pains of Nigerians, particularly, victims of killings, bloodlettings, kidnappings and other acts of violence, which continued unrepressed, while funds meant for security were reportedly being frittered.
“This is especially as allegation in the public space remain rife that funds meant for security in our nation were diverted to finance APC 2019 election campaigns, while insecurity fester in our country,” the party stated.
The PDP noted that since the Buhari Presidency and the APC do not have any cogent clarifications, the National Assembly should exercise its investigative powers under the constitution to interrogate the issue as well as recover the money in the general interest.