PDP Garba

Presidency, PDP Trade Words Over $1 Billion ECA Cash

The Presidency yesterday hit the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over its allegation that the $1 drawn from the Excess Crude Account was spent by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 2019 elections.

It accused the opposition party of being under socio-emotional distress.

Reacting to the PDP claim, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, described the allegation as ‘rubbish’.

Shehu said: “The PDP is under a socio-emotional distress. They think that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own.”

Giving account of how the money withdrawn from the Excess Crude account was spent, he said: “Here is what happened to that $1,000 million. It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about $490 million for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no contractors or commission agents) transaction with government of the United State (U.S.).

“Various other military procurements have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about USD 880 million or so.”

The presidential spokesman said barring considerations of national security, the details of the stage of implementation, the procurements made and the suppliers could be obtained today.

Differentiating Buhari’s administration from the former PDP’s, he said that the now opposition party spent defence procurement funds on 2015 election campaigns.

He said: “The PDP spent defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”

The PDP, through its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, yesterday called for probe of the whereabouts of the $1 billion approved in 2017 by President Muhammadu Buhari to address the security challenges.

It also explained that the call for investigation followed an alleged confession by a high-ranking official that he knew nothing on the whereabouts or disbursement of the $1bn drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).

He also listed other security challenges amidst the alleged disappearance of the $1 billon to include: insurgency, banditry, killings and kidnapping.

Ologbondiyan said: “The revelation further vindicates the PDP on our initial alarm that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration is overtly corrupt, deceptive and unreliable in the handling the affairs of our nation.

“It further validates the stance of the PDP that agents of the Buhari Presidency and the APC were hiding under the guise of security to siphon the $1 billion from the ECA.

“This, perhaps, informed the desperation by the cabal to draw from the Account without recourse to statutory due process of appropriation by the National Assembly.”

 

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