Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Oshiomhole queries Okonjo-Iweala over arms deal

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has queried the disbursement of funds for the procurement of arms for the military under the former Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Oshiomhole wondered whether the money under probe was appropriated for by the National Assembly as stipulated by the constitution.
He also wondered if an elected President had the powers to spend funds without getting approval from the National Assembly.
The governor made the comment at the Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions in Abuja on Tuesday.
Oshiomhole also asked under what constitutional provision did Okonjo-Iweala released the funds for the procurement of arms now under probe.
He wondered if she was not “part of the conspiracy.”
He said, “That money which they claimed to have used to buy arms, was it appropriated by the National Assembly? Was it in the Appropriation Act? Did the then President (Goodluck Jonathan) have the power to spend money that has not been appropriated? Was he a military head of state? Does he have the powers that he purported to have used?
“The Minister of Finance who released the money, under which constitution does the minister have the powers to release monies from the national treasury that has not been captured in the national appropriation laws? If she did, is that not part of conspiracy?”
Oshiomhole also justified the decision of the Federal Government to prevent the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), from travelling out of the country on medical ground.
He said that Dasuki had not accounted for the $2bn he was alleged by the Presidential Arms Probe Panel in its interim report to have spent on arms procurement under Jonathan.
But Dasuki had said that all the transactions relating to arms procurement were done with Presidential approval, insisting also that 12 helicopters and four fighter pilots which the panel alleged were not supplied were received by the former Chie of Air Staff, Air Mashal Adesola Amosu (retd.)
Oshiomhole also criticised judges in the country for allegedly delivering verdicts in favour of the influential and wealthy people at the expense of the citizenry.
He said that it was in the general interest of Nigerians for all looted funds to be recovered by the current government.
He argued that there were competent medical doctors who had the professional competence to treat Dasuki who is facing trial for treason, corruption and other cases.
Speaking also at the event, the President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, said that the organised labour had commenced work on a new minimum wage for workers which he said would be presented to the government soon.
He said that the N18,000 minimum Wage was due for review as the economic situation in the country and the devaluation of the naira had serious impact on the Nigerian worker.
Meanwhile, the President of NASU, Mrs. Ladi Iliya, has called on the Federal Government to ensure the procurement of modern weapons for the military and other security forces in the on-going campaign against the Boko Haram.

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