Tanko Yakassai faults President, governors -‘Security votes illegal’

Elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has described as unconstitutional the release of special funds to the President and the 36 states governors as security votes.

According to him, the idea of security votes contradicts the provision of the constitution because the power to appropriate funds for the security of the federation has already been vested in the National Assembly.

He added that the ability to appropriate funds cannot be wielded without the power to scrutinise them as was the case with the security votes.

Speaking in an interview with Punch Newspaper, Yakassai said: “I am of the opinion that the idea of having a security vote itself is unconstitutional.

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“It contradicts the provision of the constitution because the power to appropriate funds is vested in the National Assembly and you cannot appropriate funds without having the power to scrutinise them.

“After you are told why the funds are needed and you are told to apportion X amount of money, you should also have the right to, after the money has been disbursed and utilized, know whether the funds were used for what they were appropriated for.

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“In my opinion, security vote should be subject to scrutiny by the National Assembly, how the scrutiny is done should be regulated by the parliament because it is the parliament that has been constitutionally empowered to appropriate funds and also look into audit reports as well as carry out investigations where public funds are suspected to have either being misappropriated or misused.”

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