Tension in Presidency over impeachment threat: Why Buhari held emergency meeting with Saraki, Dogara
Despite pretenses by All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders that the two Chambers of the National Assembly cannot even secure 1/3 signatories, let alone 2/3 signatories of members to impeach President Muhamnmadu Buhari over constructional breach in the $496 million arms deal with the US Government, the Presidency has remained in palpable fear over the impeachment threat.
Accordingly, President Buhari at the weekend, considered urgent need for political diplomacy between the Executive and the Legislature to deliberate on the controversial issue and clear the gray areas.
Thus, President Buhari summoned an urgent meeting with the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Right Honourbale Yakubu Dogara.
The Presiding Officers of the National Assembly were invited by President for the meeting at the Presidential Villa.
There were indications that the President at the meeting with Saraki and Dogara on Sunday needed to pacify the leadership of the National Assembly on the controversial security expenditure and, perhaps, other controversial matters, like appointed officers ignoring invitations by the National Assembly, that have been generating heat between the executive and the legislature, and creating tension in their relationships overtime.
However, close sources hinted that the impeachment threat against the President over the purchase of Super Tucano helicopters at the cost of $496 million without the appropriation by the national Assembly toped the agenda of the meeting.
At the time President Buhari wrote the two chambers of the National Assembly explaining that his action was based on ‘anticipatory approval by the lawmakers, there were motions for impeachment of the President over the unapproved expenditure in both chambers.
The Senate President, however, watered down the tempo and prevailed on Senators to refer the matter to the Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal matters committee, chaired by Senator David Umaru (APC, Niger) and report back to the Floor last Wednesday.
The federal Lawmakers were said to have “gathered that the US Government has expressed reservation that the expenditure was not backed by the Nigerian Parliament.”
Senate Majority Leader, Ahmad Lawan, (APC, Yobe) was gathered to have explained that the reason for the National Assembly questioning was to ensure that no public resources and money were spent lawlessly.
Buhari had in a letter dated April 13, 2018, requested the parliament to include the $496 million expenditure in the 2018 budget still being considered in the National Assembly.
The 2018 budget presented on November 7, 2017, has not yet been passed by the National Assembly.
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