- Senator Ajibola Basiru has reacted to the allegation of missing N4.4 billion in the National Assembly made by SERAP
- Basiru, a principal member of the Senate, said the alleged infraction happened during the eighth National Assembly
- The senator, nevertheless told SERAP to channel its petition to the relevant committees of the National Assembly, saying it will be addressed
The Nigerian Senate has expressed its willingness to probe an allegation of misappropriation of N4.4 billion by the National Assembly as contained in an audit report.
A civil society group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), had in a statement alleged that an audit report revealed that the N4.4 billion which was budgeted for the National Assembly was misappropriated.
SERAP, therefore, gave the leadership of the National Assembly a 14-day ultimatum to address and implement the recommendations contained in the audit report, The Punch reported.
Responding to the allegation, Senator Ajibola Basiru said the alleged infractions occurred during the 8th National Assembly.
The senator who is the chairman of the Senate committee on media and public affairs asked the organisation to channel its petition to the National Assembly's committee on public account for necessary action.
He assured that the relevant committees would look into the petition if SERAP diligently pursues it.
Reacting to the Senate's readiness to probe the allegation, Ezeonyenwe Oliver said on Facebook:
"Probe without good results,
"I've been hearing probe probe in Nigeria but have not seen it's final results made public."
Anthony Iriogbe said
"Kudos to SERAP. But I can assure you that the probe can never see the light of the day. Simply put, Dead on arrival."
Olusegun Oluwanishola Thompson said:
"I just don't understand this country, looking for 4.4 bn naira? 4 4 bn naira is it a niddle or pin?
"Just don't understand!"
Abdulkareem Tijjani DVM said:
"Nass Panel will probe 'missing' 4.4bn in Nass..
"I hope Mr Lai Mohammed is seeing all of these before explaining away Transparency International Rating of Nigeria.."
Meanwhile, SERAP has also called on the speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to stop President Muhammadu Buhari from selling Nigeria's properties to fund 2021 budget.
The organisation asked the lawmakers to identify areas in the budget to cut such as salaries and allowances for the National Assembly members and the presidency to address the growing level of deficit and borrowing.
In its letter to the National Assembly leaders, SERAP said it is a breach of the constitution to allow the government to sell properties to fund budget.
In other news, Senate president Lawan has said the National Assembly under his leadership would not disagree with President Buhari to please anybody.
He made the declaration on Tuesday, January 19, when he received a delegation from Adamawa state who paid him a visit in appreciation to the National Assembly for converting the Modibbo Adama University, Yola, into a conventional university.
The Senate president maintained that Nigerians can only enjoy the benefits of democracy if both arms of government continue to work in harmony, adding that acrimony would only heat up the polity.