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Buhari distances self from defense minister, says no approval for release of $1billion arms procurement

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Barely a week after Minister  of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the release of $1 billion for the procurement of security equipment to fight Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, the President on Monday sought to distance himself from the minister.

“Mr. President has not approved the sum for any release of this procurement or application howsoever, said Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senate, Senator Ita Enang.

He explained that the approval given to the Federal Government by the National Economic Council, NEC, to spend $1 billion from ECA was undergoing the normal legislative process before the National Assembly.

Enang said the release of such money could not have been approved by President Buhari as being reported, stressing that the President follows the due process in the running of the affairs of the country.

The legislative aide to the president said, “In response to several issues raised about Security Fund sourced for at source from Excess Crude account to combat Security challenges in the country and the several misreadings attending same, may l state as follows:

“That the said sum has not and cannot be approved for spending by Mr. President.

“In any case, before any Sum is released from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, there must be

A. Appropriation Act
B. Vote of Charge
C. Warrant which is legally predicated on appropriation authorization Sub-head under the Act

“That the Executive is conscious of the  provisions of the Section 80 (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution which states:

“No moneys shall be withdrawn from any public fund of the Federation, other than the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, unless the issue of those moneys has been authorized by an Act of the National Assembly.

“No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly

“We are also conscious of the provision of Sections 4 and 5 of the 2017 Appropriation Act (relating to Excess crude Account) and would not take any action in breach thereof.

Governing of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, had distanced himself from the request and subsequently dragged the Federal Government to court over the matter.

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