The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), has taken a swipe at the activities of some committees of the National Assembly alleged to be passing budgets for ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government illegally.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, the organisation’s Director of Administration and programmes on behalf of its Chairman, Mr Debo Adeniran, he remarked, “It would be recalled that President Muhammad Buhari, while laying the 2023 Appropriation Bill before a joint session of the National Assembly on October 7, 2022, slammed committees of the parliament who were bypassing him and approving budgets for government-owned enterprises without his approval.”
It is instructive to note that the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has confirmed the allegation by the President, Buhari, that some committees of the National Assembly are passing budgets for ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government illegally. The Punch newspaper reported that the committee, after making the discovery, wrote to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and the Clerk to the National Assembly, Amos Ojo, to confirm if Buhari transmitted the MDAs’ budget to the parliament or not.
The action of these dishonourable legislators is not only an affront to the president but one illegality too great being committed against Nigeria and Nigerians.
Going by the principle of separation of powers, the legislators ought to know their limits when it comes to the budgetary processes of the government and its MDAs.
The President is expected to transmit budgetary proposals of MDAs to the National Assembly, while the clerk transmits passed budgets to the Presidency for implementation.
He stressed, “We at CACOL would like to use this medium to condemn the action of these legislators and call on the Senate and the House of Representatives Committees on Public Accounts to investigate the Chairmen of the committees involved in this illegality and report them to anti-graft agencies for appropriate prosecution and sanctions.
“The country is currently grappling with so many challenges most of which are man-made and corruption is at the root of most of the country’s woes.
“Hence, this illegal action of these committee Chairmen must not be condoned and the allegations against them must not be thrown under the carpet.
“Members of the public should be put in the know regarding the outcome of an investigation into the case and those found culpable should be made to face the full wrath of the law to serve as a deterrent to others”