Some Senators, majorly of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have demanded for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari over withdrawal of $462million to pay for 12 Super Tucano jets.
The Senators during plenary on Thursday asked Senate President Bukola Saraki to invoke Section 143 of the constitution in view of President Buhari’s approval of the extra-budgetary spending of 496 million dollars to purchase the aircraft.
It could be recalled that Hon. Kingsley, on Tuesday, during the House of Representatives plenary, called for President Muhammadu Buhari’s impeachment .
In a motion moved by the Chairman Senate Committee on Public Account, Senator Mathew Urhogide, is of the opinion that “It’s a violation of Section 80 subsection 1, 2, 3, 4.
Senator Urogbide raised point of order on the issue of withdrawal of $462 million to pay for 12 Super said President Buhari as violation of the constitution.
He described the president’s action as an impeachable offence and called on their colleagues to commence an impeachment process against the president.
“The procedure of the expenditure is wrong. There ought to be an appropriation before such expenditure.
“I hereby request that the Senate President should invoke Section 18 of the Constitution.”
Mr Urhogide cites Orders 15, 42 & 52, says this matter should be forwarded to the appropriate committee.
“The President’s request is wrong, it’s a violation of our process, proceedings and the 1999 Constitution (as amended)”.
Supporting his colleagues, Senator Chukwuka Utazi said that Mr President has violated the provision of the constitution and the appropriate measure must be taken through impeachment of Mr President.
Senator Utazi said: “I rise to second this motion with Section 80 subsection 2 and 3. We are still on the appropriation bill, we have not finished it, Service chiefs were appointed without the approval of the Senate.”
“These Tucano helicopters are to be brought in 2020, why include it now in appropriation.
“This is an impeachable offence.”
The section 143 said:
(1) The President or Vice-President may be removed from office in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(2) Whenever a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly:-
(a) is presented to the President of the Senate;
(b) stating that the holder of the office of President or Vice-President is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified, the President of the Senate shall within seven days of the receipt of the notice cause a copy thereof to be served on the holder of the office and on each member of the National Assembly, and shall also cause any statement made in reply to the allegation by the holder of the office to be served on each member of the National Assembly.
Senator Abu Ibrahim, however, disagreed with the call for the President’s impeachment.
He argued that since the establishment of the excess crude account, no government has ever sent a formal request to the National Assembly for approval for appropriation of funds.
But the other Senators are of the opinion that Section 143 deals with the impeachment of the President.
The Senate, therefore, directed its Committee on Judiciary to find out if any infraction was committed by President Buhari in his approval and subsequent release of the funds for the purchase of the aircraft.
The Senate asked the committee to report back its findings on Wednesday, May 3rd.