By Naomi Sharang
The Senate on Tuesday summoned the Minister of Finance Kemi Adeosun and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, for explanation on alleged withdrawal of 462 million dollars for purchase of helicopters from an American firm.
The two ministers are currently attending the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Also summoned by the upper legislative chamber is the Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan-Ali.
The resolution of the Senate to invite the officials was sequel to a Point-of-Order raised by Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Sen. Sam Anyanwu, at plenary.
According to Anyanwu, I have it on good authority that in March, 2018, from the Federation Account, a sum of 462 million dollars was withdrawn and paid for helicopters to an American firm.
“This is without the approval of the National Assembly. I know that at no time was there any request from this Senate for any such withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Account of the federation.
“I want to find out if anything was done.
“I will suggest we invite the CBN Governor, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Defence to tell us how this money was withdrawn and paid into an American company without the approval of the Senate,” he said.
Anyanwu stated that Section 80 (2 and 3) of the Constitution stipulated that “no monies shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by the Constitution.
“No monies shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the federation other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund unless the issue of those monies have been authorised by the Act of the National Assembly.”
In his remarks, the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the plenary, referred the matter to the Appropriation Committee and gave it one week to report back.