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Anticipatory approval not found in Nigerian constitution, any legislative rule—NASS

Strong confusion is gradually building up at the National Assembly over the recent Supplementary input to the 2018 Appropriation Bill by the federal government to purchase American Jet fighters worth $496,374,470.00 million.

Otherwise, discordant voices took over the House of Representatives following calls by some lawmakers for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari over the unauthorised withdrawal and spending of $496,374,470.00 million on the war planes.

The House was sharply divided over the decision by Buhari to expend the unbudgeted $496,374,470.00 million from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) on the procurement of 12 super Tucano aircraft from the United States of America (USA).

The president had in a correspondence to the lower chamber, dated April 13, 2018 and titled “Supplementary input to the 2018 Appropriation Bill: Purchase of Supper Tucano Aircraft from the United States Government”, argued that the approval for the procurement was taken by the 36 states governors and the National Economic Council (NEC) on December 14, 2017.

But the lawmakers took swipe on the presidency for technically seeing the National Assembly as a centre for anticipatory approvals.

Kingsley Chinda (Rivers-PDP), while raising a point of order, said President Buhari’s action was tantamount to anticipatory approval since the National Assembly was yet to appropriate such money in the 2018 budget.

While calling for the impeachment of Buhari over the breach, he observed that the House must not sit down and allow the president usurp the powers of the lawmakers as the watchdog over the purse of the country.