Presidential Adviser, Ita Enang printed, supplied fake budget version: Senate
The Senate revealed on Thursday that Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate) Senator Ita Enang printed and supplied fake budget to the Senate, thereby setting the record straight over the uproar that greeted the discovery of different versions of the budget presented to the National Assembly a few weeks ago..
The Senate did not say how much involvement was the presidency and what might be the actual intention of the presidential in committing this act that has impugned the integrity of the administration, which rode into office on the strength of transparency ideology.
Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki while reporting to the plenary what happened during the one hour,forty minute close session on Thursday, said the Senate had received the report of the ad hoc committee setup to investigate the claims of the missing 2016 budget and the report revealed that it was the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Senator Ita Enang who printed and supplied fake budget to the Senate.
He said, “We have received the report of the ad hoc committee setup to investigate the issue on 2016 budget. The report of the committee revealed that the Senate received two versions of the 2016 Appropriation Bill – one from President Muhammadu Buhari at the December 22nd, 2015 Joint Session of the National Assembly and another from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.”
According to the Senate president, the copies printed and supplied by Enang are different from the one received from the President Muhammdu Buhari. Saraki said the Senate will only accept the version of the appropriation bill that was presented by the President.
Senate Spokesman Senator Aliyu Sabi said the report that the 2016 budget was missing is not true.
Sabi, while briefing journalists after the day’s sitting, confirmed that the investigation of the adhoc committee setup to probe the claims have been submitted and it was discovered that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate) Senator Ita Enang printed and supplied wrong copies of the budget to the Senate and the House of Representative.
“After the President Presented the 2016 budget last December, the National Assembly went on a break and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang printed and supplied copies different from the one presented by the President to both Senate and House of Representative” Sabi said.
Sabi said the Senate is relying on the Presidency for a soft copy of the one presented by the President to produce copies within the National Assembly. “We are waiting for the soft copy of the budget from the Presidency to produce copies within the National Assembly and distribute to Senators” Sabi said.
The Senate Spokesman assured that the Senate has resolved to work with the budget submitted by the President. “The Senate has resolved to work with the budget submitted by the President. The Senate cannot do anything that is illegal” Sabi added.
A statement from the office of the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday announced that the Senate will only accept the version of the 2016 Appropriation Bill that was presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015 Joint Session of the National Assembly.
The Senate President revealed that consideration of the 2016 Appropriation Bill would commence on Tuesday January 19th and further stated that if the Presidency wants to amend the initial version of the bill that was submitted to the National Assembly, there were proper legislative channels to do so.