THE Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre has threatened to institute a legal action against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) within 14 days, if it fails to investigate Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, over the N255 million armoured car saga for which the House of Reps and the Presidential committee have already indicted her.
CISLAC, under its Say No to Corruption Campaign, said in a statement Friday, that the EFCC should exercise its powers by conducting an investigation into the issue and arresting the indicted minister for prosecution in a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Should the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission refrain from taking the appropriate and required action, the Say No Campaign will not hesitate to institute a legal action against the commission within 14 days,” the statement reads.
The group also kicked against the 2014 budget, describing it as fraudulent.
“The 2014 budget, which is paradoxically themed: “Budget for Job Creation and Inclusive Growth”, by its contents, goes to show that we have a government that is yet to acknowledge its primary duty of providing for the welfare and security of the people of Nigeria. The budget simply confirms the fact that we have a government that is insensitive to the plight of Nigerians.”
The group expressed concern over the growing cost of governance and government’s reluctance to cut down the cost of running government, as evidenced by the 70 per cent recurrent expenditure. It said that no nation develops economically with such style of budgeting.
CISLAC expressed dissatisfaction with the amount earmarked for education, saying it is yet to conform to UNESCO recommendation of 26 per cent of total budget. It, therefore, called on the National Assembly to ensure proper scrutiny of the budget before passing it.
“The issue of security cannot be separated from development because where there is insecurity, development is comatose. It is thus surprising that the 2014 budget caters more for the servicing of militants than for our security outfits. The major abuse of power and lack of motivation by military and paramilitary personnel is mostly fueled by the poor welfare and social security provided. It is, therefore, an injustice that a total sum of N59 billion is allocated to cover the stipends and allowances to 30,000 Niger Delta ex-militants and reintegration of transformed ex-militants under the Amnesty Programme, while the total capital budget allocated to the Nigerian Army, Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Army, Navy, Air force and the total budget for all police formations and commands is N45 billion.
“This injustice carries a message that encourages militancy rather than promote selfless service to the Nation,” the group stated.
“We call on the National Assembly to ensure proper scrutiny of the budget before passage into law. Certain budget heads or proposed expenditures that are not targeted at improving the lives of Nigerians should not be approved.
“We reject, in totality, the proposed plan to secure another presidential jet under the 2014 budget.”