…To pass supplementary budget, virement
The House of Representatives Deputy Speaker, Hon Yusuff Lasun, on Thursday, disclosed that the National Assembly would reconvene next Tuesday to consider and approve President Muhammadu Buhari’s supplementary budget and virement request.
Lasun made this known while answering questions from journalists at a press briefing by the All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Representatives caucus.
Commenting on the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before the parliament, the deputy speaker confirmed that the National Assembly would reconvene either on Tuesday or Wednesday next week to specifically consider and approve the budget.
“The 2018 budget is not cast in iron as it can be amended through virement or otherwise,” Lasun added.
The Daily Times recalls that National Assembly principal officers were scheduled to meet with the INEC hierarchy on Tuesday, to consider Buhari’s request for funds for the electoral umpire to conduct the 2019 general election before the DSS invaded and sealed the complex.
The siege led to the postponement of the meeting by the principal officers to decide whether and when to reconvene the National Assembly which had proceeded on its annual recess.
Reacting to Tuesday’s siege on the National Assembly by the DSS, the caucus said it supports the reactions and measures taken by the Presidency in the wake of the invasion and siege of the assembly.
Condemning the DSS siege, the APC caucus after a marathon four-hour meeting, informed journalists that it backs the sacking of the former Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, by acting President Yemi Osinbajo and the administration’s decision to conduct a full scale investigation into the siege.
House Deputy Speaker, Yusuff Lasun, speaking for the APC lawmakers, said the caucus condemns the invasion of the National Assembly by the DSS while commending the Presidency’s reaction in relieving Daura of his job and instituting an investigation into the siege.
Accompanied by House Leader, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila and other APC lawmakers, Lasun said that the APC House caucus won’t accept the rape on democracy as witnessed on Tuesday, while objecting to the partisan colouration given to the siege.
“We stand together to defend our democracy. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) shouldn’t use the invasion to malign the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We call for a full scale investigation to know what exactly happened and who played what role in the invasion,” he said.
The caucus however, distanced itself from any group such as the Parliamentary Support Group that is ostensibly drumming support for Buhari in the National Assembly, stating that “all APC members in the House support Buhari as a consensus presidential candidate for the 2019 elections”.
Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ehiozuwa Johnson Agbonnayinma (APC, Edo), has demanded the arrest and prosecution of the hired thugs who molested him during Tuesday’s invasion of the National Assembly by agents of the Department of State Security (DSS).
Reacting to Senate President Bukola Saraki’s call for the prosecution of the DSS agents who took part in the siege on the parliament, Agbonnayinma stated that the thugs who molested him should also face trial.
Disturbed at how he was molested, Agbonnayinma in a chat with journalists, said that the National Assembly “belongs to all political parties and Nigerians, why must PDP thugs block me from entering the complex?
“If I had reacted and stormed the place with other APC lawmakers, can they withstand us but I chose to be a matured Nigerian. But, I equally want the thugs tried in the same vein with the invaders. It was even the DSS men that protected me from the rampaging thugs and the question is who brought them there if not the PDP?
“When I got to the gate, they were only allowing PDP lawmakers entry into the complex, when we all know that the National Assembly belongs to us all.
“Even when I finally entered the complex, PDP lawmakers told me I had no business being there and it was Senators Matthew Ughogide and Dino Melaye that protected me from being assaulted, begging me to calm down”.
The lawmaker said further that “this can’t happen in the United States as such thugs will be prosecuted. So I demand for their prosecution”.