The Senate on Tuesday summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emiefele; the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun; and the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali to give reasons for withdrawing $462 million from the Federation Account without the approval of the Senate.
The summon followed a point of order raised by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Sam Anyawu.
Mr. Anyawu made reference to section 80 (2) and (3) of the 1999 Constitution which prohibits anyone from withdrawing money from the Federation Account without the consent of the National Assembly.
Section 80 (2) states that “no money shall be withdrawn from the consolidated revenue fund of the federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by the constitution or when the issue of those monies has been authorised by an appropriation act, supplementary appropriation act or an act passed in the pursuance of section 81 of this constitution.
(3) – “No money shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation other than the consolidated revenue fund of the federation unless the issues of those monies have been authorised by the act of the National Assembly. No monies shall be withdrawn from the consolidated revenue fund or any other public fund of the federation except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.”
Mr. Anyawu demanded that the trio be summoned before the committee on appropriation and questioned accordingly.
“Mr. President, I have it in good authority that in March 2018, a whopping sum of $462 million was withdrawn from the federation account and paid for helicopters to an American firm called Helicopter Tecno Fights Helicopters and this was done without the approval of the Senate."
“And I know there was no such request from the Senate."
“As a citizen, senator of this place, I want to find out how this thing was done and I suggest that we invite the CBN governor, the Ministers of Finance and Defence to tell us how this money was withdrawn and paid to an American company without the approval of the Senate.”
The Senate, thereafter, unanimously agreed to refer the matter to the committee on appropriation to summon the officials and conduct an investigation.
The committee is to report back in one week.