Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
The Senate has invited the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali (retd.); and Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, over alleged illegal withdrawal of $462m from the Consolidated Revenue Account.
The money was said to have been withdrawn and paid to an American firm for the purchase of helicopters. It was, however, alleged that it was done with the approval of the National Assembly.
At the plenary on Tuesday, Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo-East) raised a point of order, alleging that Section 80(2) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution had been breached.
Anyanwu said, “I have it on good authority that in March 2018, from the Federation Account, a whopping sum of $462m was withdrawn and paid for (the purchase of) helicopters to an American firm. And this is without the approval of the National Assembly or the Senate.
“I know that there was no time when there was any request (for approval) from this Senate before any withdrawal from the Consolidated Federation Account.
“I, therefore, as a senator, want us to find out if that thing (withdrawal) was done.
“I will request and suggest we invite the CBN governor, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Defence to tell us how this money was withdrawn and paid to an American company — a whopping $462m — without the approval of this Senate.”
Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary, put the request to voice vote and it was unanimously granted.
Ekweremadu referred the matter to the Committee on Appropriations, asking it to invite the ministers and the CBN governor.
“The Appropriations Committee should invite the three: the Minister of Finance, the CBN governor and the Minister of Defence to shed light on the release,” he said.