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President Buhari denies approving $1bn for arms purchase

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday denied approving the release of $1 billion for arms’ procurement.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, had told State House reporters last Wednesday after Buhari met with security chiefs that the president approved the release of the fund, from the Excess Crude Account, for military equipment’s purchase to fight insecurity.

The National Assembly had kicked against such approval, saying it could not stand without recourse to the legislature.

But Buhari, in a statement Monday by his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, said the fund had not been approved.

“The said sum has not and cannot be approved for spending by Mr. President,” the presidential aide emphasised.

According to Enang the process of approving the money for use is still undergoing executive standard operating procedure before presenting same to the National Assembly for approval.

He said the fund could only be spent “upon and in the manner as shall be approved by the National Assembly and assented to in an Appropriation Act or a supplementary Appropriation Act.”

Enang repeated that Buhari had not approved the sum for any release of the arms’ procurement or application howsoever.

He said before any sum is released from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, there must be

Appropriation Act, Vote of Charge and Warrant which is legally predicated on appropriation authorization sub-head under the Act.

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