PRESIDENCY INDICTS 7TH ASSEMBLY OVER DASUKIGATE, DEZIANIGATE
The Presidency on Tuesday fingered the Seventh National Assembly for its alleged involvement in all the multi-billion naira fraud perpetuated between 2011 and 2015.
Some of the alleged fraud included the $2.1 billion arms purchase scandal allegedly involving a former National Security Adviser, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki; and several allegations against the former Minister of Petroleum Resources in the Goodluck Jonathan Administration, Diezani Alison-Maduekw.
Dasuki and Alison-Madueke are currently under investigation for embezzlement and mismanagement of public fund.
The Senior Special Assistant to President (Senate), Senator Ita Enag, who made this known while addressing newsmen, said he felt guilty on the various multi billion scandals that happened during the period.
Enag, who was a member of the Seventh Assembly, said; “If the committees in the 7th National Assembly were doing their work, by checking what was happening in the office of the National Security Adviser, Petroleum Ministry, we will not have had Diezanigate and all the other gates.
“We will not have not had all the probes.
“Because the legislature concentrated less, that is why we are having the spill that the 8th Assembly is having.
“I feel guilty and I want to apologise.
“If the legislature did its duty like it is doing now, I think we will not have this situation.”
Speaking on Executive and Legislative relationship, Enang said: “This year is going to be a very robust year in the executive-legislative relationship because you are going to see amity (harmony), concord, cooperation and the best of relationship between the executive and the legislature.
“You are not going to have uncommon compromise.
“Yu are going to have engagement not something combustible.”
On issue of budget padding, Enang said the legislature has the right to doctor the budget because it is just a proposal from the executive.
He said: “In all my legislative years, padding is a new word in the legislative lexicon so we have to define it as a new matter.
“In my opinion, padding is an illegal or unlawful insertion by a person who is not expected to do it into a legal, purely completed legislative document.
“Therefore, unless a bill has been passed and forwarded to Mr. President for assent, there can be no padding.
“If the bill had been forwarded to the President and something is inserted into that before it is assented to by any person and something is added different from what is in the votes and proceedings of the Senate and House of Representatives is what constitutes padding.
“On the part of the executive, if a bill is forwarded to Mr. President, be it a bill on any matter or budget and the President or the Governor something is inserted by the governor or by the executive into the bill before assenting, that is padding.
“Again, if after a bill has been assented to by the President and forwarded to the National Assembly for publication and gazetting and somebody inserts something into it before publication in the gazette, that is padding because you are adding an illegal, unlawful entry into a document that is legal and that is contamination of the document.
“In the case of the budget that is pending before the legislature now, the executive is free to make inputs.
“That does not constitute padding.
“The legislature is at liberty to make inputs and pass.
“That is not padding.
“Any person in the course of it can make a suggestion.
“Whenever the executive presents a bill before the House of Assembly or National Assembly, that instrument is work in progress.
“It is a draft.
“In the course of considering legislation, there can be no padding because either side can make inputs.”
In the last 18 years of democracy this is the best year of the relationship between the executive and the legislature. This a legisaltv-executive relationship which is based on do your work I do my work. Each side is fully concentrating in handling its own aspect of the work. The legislature has been very active, very productive in terms of legislations passed.