member of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Galambi, has accused President Bola Tinubu of presenting ’empty’ boxes supposedly containing the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.

Mr Galambi, a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) representing Gwaram federal constituency of Jigawa State, made the allegation during an interview with BBC Hausa Service on Friday.

The lawmaker, in the interview, monitored by PREMIUM TIMES, said Mr Tinubu read out his budget speech including proposals for sectors but did not give the lawmakers the documents as was the tradition by previous presidents.

When the BBC reporter insisted that the president was seen laying the “document”, Mr Galambi said when the lawmakers checked they couldn’t find anything in the boxes laid by Mr Tinubu.

We’ve checked but there was nothing inside. We checked it. In the history of the National Assembly, this was the first time such a thing happened.

“The constitution has made it clear (that a document must be presented) but this time, it was only a reading on paper. They didn’t provide the document for us to go through and see what is proposed for each sector. Maybe they’ll bring it later,” Mr Galambi said.

Cover up

The lawmaker alleged that the leaders of the National Assembly are covering up Mr Tinubu’s act.

“They (leaders of the National Assembly) don’t want anyone to talk about it. Maybe they were not informed or were possibly aware of what was planned and they decided not to inform us,” he said.

When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Print Media, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, said the allegation was aimed at misleading the public.

“It’s a nonsensical allegation aimed to mislead. The president is never expected to present the whole haul of heavy documents. What happened at the laying is like the presentation of dummy cheques at award ceremonies. The real thing always follows,” Mr Abdulaziz said in a WhatsApp message sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday.

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