SERAP urges National Assembly to publish reports on graft probes

•Seeks role for special counsel

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the National Assembly to publish reports of investigation of corrupt practices that the legislature conducted since 1999.

The demand was part of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila.

In the requests dated July 25, 2020 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the group also urged the legislative arm to “disclose the number and details of its public hearings and corruption probes that have resulted in any indictment of suspects, and to name such suspects”.

According to SERAP, the reports should be sent to appropriate anti-corruption agencies to be considered if there is sufficient admissible evidence to pursue prosecution.

To SERAP, the most effective way to deter corruption is to make the cost of engaging in these types of acts higher than the rewards.

“This can only be accomplished by making public the reports and pursuing public accountability for corrupt acts. Doing so would also give Nigerians greater confidence that their lawmakers can use their constitutional oversight functions to address corruption in Nigeria.”

Another request is that the lawmakers should be stopped from directly getting involved in the execution of projects by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to ensure proper and effective exercise of their oversight functions, including investigations of corruption allegations, such as those involving the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

The FoI requests, read in part: “We also urge you to urgently use the opportunity of the ongoing public hearings and corruption probes to influence Nigeria’s anti-corruption agenda, including by immediately amending section 52 of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act on independent counsel for corruption.

“Section 52 requires the Chief Justice of Nigeria to authorise an independent counsel to investigate any allegation of corruption against high level public officials, and to report his/her findings to the National Assembly or appropriate house of assembly.

‘The proposed amendment should include additional requirements, beyond merely reporting to lawmakers, that would allow the independent counsel to use the findings of any investigation as a basis to pursue effective prosecution of corruption cases without any authorisation by the executive or the National Assembly”, it added.


How NASS probe threatens NDDC forensic audit

• Stakeholders Demand International Forensic Auditors
• Forensic Accountants Back Audit, Indigenous Firms Participation
• NDDC Playground For Corrupt People, Including NASS Members – Onuegbu
• Groups Want Nunieh Investigated, Akpabio, Pondei Removed, Prosecuted

There are growing concerns that the outcome of the probe by the National Assembly (NASS) of the allegations of financial malfeasance in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) may impact the forensic audit of the agency ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Even though the Presidency, on Friday, said Buhari would act decisively on the resolution of the legislature at the right time, stakeholders in the region are already expressing doubts about the capacity of the audit firm engaged to do a thorough job, especially with the allegation that high political office holders have their hands in the pie.

Consequently, the aggrieved stakeholders are calling on Buhari to engage globally renowned forensic auditing firms to carry out the exercise. They alleged that since the Procurement Act was abused in the process leading to the emergence of the engaged firm, there is the tendency that the outcome of the audit may be compromised.

In the midst of this, groups including Youth in Africa Anti-Corruption Network (YIAA Network), and the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI Network) have called for the immediate removal and prosecution of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Obot Akpabio, the acting managing director of the NDDC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei; Commissioners and everyone, who in one way or the other, is allegedly involved in the grand corruption taking place at the agency.

The groups also insisted that the erstwhile managing director of the commission, Dr. Joi Nunieh, should be properly investigated by the Code of Conduct Bureau, while the National Assembly should re-invite Pondei for a full investigation.

They, however, urged the National Assembly to resist the temptation of discharging Pondei from further investigation and interrogation, alleging that failure to reschedule Pondei’s interrogation means the lawmakers were conspiring to cover up allegations made against some of its members by Akpabio.

THE Coordinator, National Coalition on Gas Flaring and Oil Spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND), Dr. Edward Obi, while weighing in on the N81b saga said as the NDDC continues to face credibility crisis, Buhari should immediately engage reputable forensic auditors to audit its finances and projects.

Obi, who said it was illegal to award the auditing contract without due process, stressed that Nigerians should be brought into the discourse as far as the choice of a transparent, reputable auditing firm with international pedigree is concerned to unravel the true state of the alleged malfeasance.

“I stand to be corrected, the NDDC is not all about making Niger Deltans rich; it is not about giving jobs to Niger Deltans; It is about creating opportunities for Niger Deltans to take advantage of what is available to them. So, I don’t believe that giving jobs to Niger Deltans is what NDDC is for, No. If that agency had done what it ought to have done, by now there would have been a multiplicity of opportunities for Niger Deltans and other Nigerians to make business by themselves.”
IN the same vein, a business mogul and 2019 Action Democratic Party (ADP) governorship candidate in Rivers State, Mr. Victor Fingesi, described the scandal rocking the agency as an embarrassment to the country, insisting that concerted efforts must be made through an independent forensic audit that will unmask diverters and plunders of development funds through the NDDC.

“It is time to bring in an international auditor, KPMG, and some of those firms that have international repute to immediately audit the NDDC, and thereafter advise the Federal Government on what to do about the looted funds. If you are given a contract and you don’t execute it, you should bring back the money.

“Auditing firms in the country have been auditing too many agencies; too many companies, that they all now have friends everywhere. With what is going on today in the NDDC, people can reach people. So, for a thorough, I think we have to bring in an independent auditor that does not operate here. I named one, KPMG,” he said.

THE former board chairman of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives (NEITI), Ledum Mitee, wondered why the Federal Government failed to engage NEITI, which has the statutory responsibility to audit, track revenues from oil to probe the NDDC.

He explained that NEITI in its Fiscal Allocation and Statutory Disbursement 2007-2011, and 2012-2016 audited reports, revealed a lack of accountability and transparency in the financial activities of the NDDC.

“With just half of the money that they are spending on forensic audit, NEITI can do a very thorough job on the NDDC. The whole process of the NEITI audit is not easy to compromise. Mind you, it involves multi-stakeholders as people from the oil companies are there; civil society groups are there, as well as government agencies. But, why do you pay as much as N1b to an auditing firm, that will be superintended over by those already in the eye of the storm, and who have already been indicted? How would Akpabio sit over that? How would the IMC superintend over such an audit…?”

Mitee pointed out that for every hour the National Assembly spends questioning NDDC officials’ financial recklessness, somebody in the Niger Delta is dying from either preventable diseases like malaria or the contaminated water that they are drinking.
THE National Vice President, Trade Union Congress, Chika Onuegbu, who is an economist cum chartered accountant, said given the level of fraud and irregularities that have taken place in the NDDC, an independent forensic audit, which goes beyond the mere presentation of invoices, names of companies, or certificate of work completed, to unravelling who did what job, and on the spot assessment of jobs awarded and paid for, is needed.

“Payments from banks have to be traced, not just to those companies, but the ultimate beneficiaries. That is why the support of the Central Bank of Nigeria is required. If N10m was paid to YWZ Ltd, who are those authorised to withdraw the money? Who has the BVN? Companies are legal entities, but of course, companies are not human beings, it is human beings that run them. The CBN should avail information and support to the forensic audit so that the final account where the monies ended up would be unveiled,” he said.

Onuegbu described the NDDC as a playground of many corrupt people, including members of the National Assembly, who are deeply concerned about the forensic audit, as opposed to the normal audit.

“Let the forensic audit go on, let the report of that forensic audit be made public, and let whoever feels aggrieved write a petition for another audit firm to come and check. But let us not scuttle the forensic audit. All of us that are from the Niger Delta know that the NDDC is a colossal failure and the epicentre of fraud in Nigeria.

“The forensic audit is not the solution to the problem of NDDC. It is just a process of unearthing the massive corruption that has taken place in the place. After that, there is a need to review the NDDC Act, either the NDDC is scrapped and the fund channelled to oil-producing communities,” he said.

UCHE Onyeagucha, a former Secretary to the Imo State Government described the NDDC as a filthy institution to the extent that with or without a forensic audit if Nigerians don’t change their attitude towards corruption, not much would be achieved.

“There should be a total, comprehensive audit of every person in the NDDC. And then you can still feel free to investigate all the properties and assets of all the persons, who have served there from the beginning to date. You should also go back and investigate the property and assets of all those who have been members of the NDDC Committee of the House of Representatives, all the NDDC Committee of the Senate, from the beginning to date. Where their property, assets, and bank accounts fail to match their income, they should be made to explain. That is how you will do the cleansing, which has to be comprehensive” he said.

MEANWHILE, the Global President, Association of Forensic Accounting Researchers (AFAR), Prof. Godwin Emmanuel Oyedokun has lauded the forensic audit but faulted the process that brought up the exercise.

He said: “The only thing that I have a problem with is the process that brought that forensic process up. A forensic audit is necessary and good, but who initiated it? Is it a group or the NDDC office that initiated it, and do they have the power to do so? If there is a problem from the beginning, the process can’t be legal. The Federal Government doesn’t have the power to initiate it. The Federal Government through the management of NDDC should have been the one to do so.”

Oyedokun who is also the President, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), Lagos Chapter, explained that forensic audit is a procurement issue and when carrying out procuring services, it should be the responsibility of the NDDC.

“The Federal Government can mandate the directorate of NDDC to do so. That was the reason that the National Assembly argued that the minister was usurping the powers of the NDDC board to initiate the contract because the forensic audit is also a contract.”

Contrary to calls by some groups in the Niger Delta that an indigenous forensic firm mustn’t be allowed to carry out the probe, he said it’s an abuse of freedom of speech to say that indigenous auditing firms shouldn’t be involved in carrying out the forensic audit of the NDDC.

For those canvassing for foreign audit firms, he asked: “Are they also ridiculing their professionals and saying that we should go and hire somebody from the United Kingdom to come and do the audit? Would such people know the terrain of Nigeria more than the indigenous experts? It is a misuse of freedom of speech.”

He further said that accounting firms like, KPMG, Deloitte, and PwCs are not foreign audit firms, they are still Nigerian companies only that they are using the network names across the world.

“If a Nigerian joins a network of audit firms, he is still a Nigerian. With international qualifications, you can’t work as an accountant in Nigeria. The Chairman of Deloitte in Nigeria, for example, is a Nigerian and would lead a team of Nigerians and Nigerian facilities to carry out a forensic audit. There is a difference between conventional auditor and forensic auditors. Once the people that selected Olumuyiwa Bashiru & Co., can confirm that the so-called firm has partners that have been trained in forensic auditing, with evidence, then so be it. It must be noted that forensic report is quite different from auditor’s report,” he said.

SPEAKING on behalf of the groups calling for the removal and prosecution of Akpabio and Pondei in Abuja, the President of YIAA Network, Ovo Emokiniovo Otarigho said: “We are dismayed with the accusations and counter-accusations between Senator Akpabio and the erstwhile Managing Director of the commission, Dr. Joi Nunieh, as well as the shameful drama presented by Prof. Pondei. We demand that the people entrusted with the responsibilities of our commonwealth should face justice and be accountable to the citizens, and not to serve themselves. On account of that, we vehemently reject the statement of the Speaker of The House of Representatives, that Prof. Pondei might be excluded from further interrogation. We, therefore, call on him and members of the committee to re-schedule another day for the continuation of the investigation of Prof. Pondei on account of his stewardship. We shall view the failure to reschedule his investigation as an act of complicity on the part of the National Assembly over allegations made by Senator Akpabio.”

“Furthermore, we call on the National Assembly to expose all its members alleged to have been involved in this grand-scale scam to defraud the people of the Niger Delta of their rights to experience development through the NDDC. In the bid to unravel the truth, all witnesses in this investigation must be protected. We, hereby call on the Inspector General of Police to live up to the essence of his duties, which is to protect the lives of the citizens. All attempt by alleged conspirators in this corruption to threaten witnesses to thwart the truth must be discouraged and resisted by the Police.”


National Assembly in credibility crisis as officials routinely stage walk-outs

Credibility crisis continues to dog the heels of Nigeria’s National Assembly as government officials repeatedly stage walk-outs on its various committees probing activities of government as part of its oversight functions. While some officials walk out on some committees, others provoke the sitting committees to the extent that the committees walk them out for lack of respect for the legislative process.

But perhaps the worst and affronting credibility crisis is a scenario where government’s officials simply refuse to turn up to give account of activities in their respective duty posts. Many see the development as blatant disregard for the duties and powers of the lawmakers and lawmaking process.

Only last week, the Acting Managing Director of Nigeria Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) Interim Management Committee (IMC), Prof. Perebradikumo Pondei walked out on the National Assembly committee probing alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure at the commission. He accused the committee chairman, Hon. Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo) of alleged corruption, saying he had no moral standing to preside over the committee because he was part of the commission’s problem.

Credibility crisis continues to dog the heels of Nigeria’s National Assembly as government officials repeatedly stage walk-outs on its various committees probing activities of government as part of its oversight functions. While some officials walk out on some committees, others provoke the sitting committees to the extent that the committees walk them out for lack of respect for the legislative process.

But perhaps the worst and affronting credibility crisis is a scenario where government’s officials simply refuse to turn up to give account of activities in their respective duty posts. Many see the development as blatant disregard for the duties and powers of the lawmakers and lawmaking process.

Only last week, the Acting Managing Director of Nigeria Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) Interim Management Committee (IMC), Prof. Perebradikumo Pondei walked out on the National Assembly committee probing alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure at the commission. He accused the committee chairman, Hon. Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo) of alleged corruption, saying he had no moral standing to preside over the committee because he was part of the commission’s problem.

Pondei had defended his action, noting, “Tunji-Ojo is an interested party and we do not believe that NDDC can have justice because he cannot sit on his own case. We have no issue with appearing; we appeared before the Senate’s ad hoc committee, and as long as he remains, we will not make any presentations.”

Although other committee members insisted that Pondei was in no position to set rules for the committee, the acting managing director stood his ground and did not make any presentation.

Only three weeks ago, Senate Committee on Labour, Productivity and Employment, walked out the Minister of State for Labour, Productivity and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo for unruly behaviour at its sitting. It turned out a shouting match, with the minister and the lawmakers raising their voices at each other in a manner that was unbecoming of both parties, who threw caution to the wind. Their spat was over who controls the temporary employment of 774,000 young Nigerians across the country. Minister Keyamo accused the lawmakers of arm-twisting him to take control of the process.

Not too long ago also, the Ambassador of Lebanon, Ambassador Houssam Diab staged a walk-out on the House of Representative Committee on Diaspora Affairs on July 9, 2020. Diab had accepted invitation by the committee to discuss cases of maltreatment of Nigerians in Lebanon, alongside the detention of one Temitope Arowolo over alleged attempt to murder her boss. While the ambassador expected a closed-door session with the committee, it turned out an open one, with media and the public at the sitting. This prompted Diab to walk out, but the committee chairman, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe ran after Diab and eventually prevailed on him to stay after promising a closed-door session.

Late last year, while Boko Haram and bandits ran riot in the Northeast and Northwest regions, killing and maiming innocent civilians and rendering farming and economic activities comatose, the National Assembly invited the service chiefs to brief it on their counter-insurgency operations and how best to help strengthen them to do their duties proficiently and effectively. The service chiefs, led by Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, simply refused to turn up, to the embarrassment of the lawmakers overseeing their activities. Sen. Enyinaya Abaribe had simply called on President Muhammadu Buhari to fire the service chiefs or resign himself, since he had failed to protect the lives and property of Nigerians. There was uproar as senators were divided along party lines, with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members defending their respective partisan positions.

Perhaps, the 8th Assembly, led by Sen. Bukola Saraki in early 2019, suffered the worst parliamentary indignity when the then Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, blatantly refused to heed invitation from the lawmakers to explain the wanton killings in the Middle Belt, particularly Benue State, by rampaging Fulani herdsmen. Idris did not only disrespect the lawmakers by refusing to visit them, he also did not obey the orders of his own commander-in-chief, President Buhari, who asked him to relocate to the region to personally oversee the operations of his men and women, particularly in Benue and Taraba States, to forestall the incessant killings and displacement of local communities. The herders were pushing to overrun the area and displace farmers for their cattle to have unfettered access to graze in the farmlands.

In some of these voluntary walk-outs and refusal to heed invitations, the lawmakers’ resort to threats of arrest of these officials always go unheeded by the enforcing agency, The Nigeria Police. This has also been a source of embarrassment to the lawmakers, especially from a force mostly known for its zealousness in acting of tune with established norms. Only last week, the force attempted to arrest the former Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Dr. Joy Nunieh in her residence without a warrant. The intervention of Rivers State governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, saved Nunieh from the police’s arbitrary action.

So, how did the lawmakers lose out on its powers to enforce compliance with provisions of the constitution that empowers them to bring probity to governance through its oversight functions of the activities of the executive arm of government? At what point did Nigeria’s legislature lose the moral ground such that it has become a plaything in the hands of the executive and its officials?

Elsewhere, the National Assembly is likened to a court of law whose word is law itself that cannot be flouted. So, at what point did it lose its respect such that even foreign dignitaries walk out on it and nothing happens thereafter? How did it sink so low in the estimation of Nigerians? When last did it invoke its zero budgeting for a particular agency because of its officials’ recalcitrance in violating its rules since arrest of its officials was not possibly because it lacks the enforcement powers?

Lastly, how does the common man on the streets view the National Assembly? Do the lawmakers still exude honourable and distinguished aura in the face of these attacks on its credibility? Or have they become so dishonourable and undistinguished in their conduct in the eyes of those they represent such that no ones takes them seriously?

These posers are at the heart of the legislators’ credibility crisis, where most government officials tend to regard them with some element of contempt and treat every appearance before them as just another opportunity to undermine the legislators. Perhaps, since the advent of democracy in 1999, no legislature had been so debased by government’s officials as the 8th and 9th Assemblies under Buhari’s administration’s watch. Some believe the manner of the emergence of the two Assemblies leaves much to be desired of a legislature deserving of respect and awe. The two Assemblies under Buhari emerged in circumstances quite unbecoming of legislatures before them.

While Senator Saraki defied his party’s arrangement and emerged in spite of Buhari, the current one, in a bid to avoid the Saraki saga, emerged at the whim of Buhari and his APC party and promptly earned the dubious tag of a rubberstamp Assembly from inception. So while Saraki’s Assembly was in constant opposition and collision with the executive arm of government, Senator Ahmed Lawan’s is rather under Buhari’s shadow. For instance, when the service chiefs refused last year to appear before the House of Representatives, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila had rushed to Buhari in Aso Villa, crying about the insubordination of the president’s appointees. It was only after Buhari’s intervention that Buratai and his band of service chiefs appeared before the House.

In most democracies across the world, it is the president and his officials that rush to parliament to explain their activities with respect and awe, since they are the direct representatives of the people they lead. But the sense Nigerians get with the leadership of Lawan and Gbajabiamila is that of school children always running to lay complaints before their headmaster, Buhari. This has been the case since both leaders of the legislature were creations of the president.

In essence, officials of government see both chambers of the legislature as creations of their boss (Buhari) in almost appointive positions like them (officials). They therefore find it hard to show desired respect before the lawmakers as executive and legislative relations demand. The end results are the endless friction and clashes and walk-outs that have become daily fare.

From padded budgets to misused constituency projects that don’t get to the people and rampant accusations of corruption during oversight functions by lawmakers, not to mention jumbo pay packages and insane allowances, Nigerians have come to see the National Assembly members as people from an alien country, akin to colonialists who mean them no good. This perception has also come to define how government officials see them whenever they are invited.

A former House of Representative member (Action Congress of Nigeria – ACN-Iseyin-Oyo from 2003-2007, but who is now in All Progressives Congress – APC), Dr. Wale Okediran lamented the frequency of the rows between officials of the executive and lawmakers, noting that it wasn’t as rampant as it is now in his days at the National Assembly. Okediran attributed the spat to two things, namely the inability of the executive to properly control its agencies and the people running them.

He lamented that those appointed as political advisers to the president on National Assembly Matters were failing in their duties to properly chaperon officials of government to meetings with the lawmakers. Such appointees, Okediran said, ought to properly guide officials of the executive on how to relate with lawmakers whenever they were summoned to make clarifications about their duty posts. He therefore charged National Assembly liaison officers to the president to do more to smoothen relations with the lawmakers.

Secondly, Okediran advised Nigerian lawmakers to be more tolerant of officials of the executive who are invited to give account of their stewardship. He said lawmakers must not see them as coming to a court of law, but as partners in development as the executive and legislature must work together to make Nigeria great. He also said the lawmakers must look inward with a view to clearing some of the negative perceptions hovering around them and make efforts to get Nigerians to trust them in their work.

He noted that accusations of corruption as the Acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) leveled against the House Committee chairman of the commission, Hon. Tunji-Ojo was an embarrassment that easily erodes the credibility of the lawmakers before ordinary Nigerians. He charged the lawmakers to put their house in order so Nigerians can give them the respect lawmakers deserve in the lawmaking process.

Whether the lawmakers will heed Okediran’s advice and show more maturity in handling its relationship with officials of the executive so as to earn the trust of Nigerians is up to them. Also, the executive has a duty to show respect to the lawmakers who are representatives of the people.


Akpabio indicts National Assembly members in NDDC contract scandal

The minister for Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio on Monday said he has not awarded a single contract since he assumed office. Instead, he indicted members of the National Assembly.

“I have never approved a single contract not even one kilometre for the NDDC,” Akpabio said while responding to questions by the House of Representatives committee probing the financial misappropriation at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“Most of the contracts in NDDC are given out to the members of the National Assembly. If you don’t know, please ask the two chairmen,” Akpabio alleged.

Akpabio, however, said that the contracts were not given to the committee chairman, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

“I don’t think the NDDC has given any contract directly to Honorable Ojo,” Akpabio said.

On the alleged missing N40 billion, he said no money was missing as the money is domiciled in the CBN.

“N40 billion cannot go missing from the account of the NDDC because it is domiciled in the CBN. Before this administration, NDDC had over 300 bank accounts with various commercial banks,” Godswill Akpabio

He stated that before his appointment as a minister, over 300 accounts were run by the NDDC, saying it was impossible for such amount to be missing because the government now uses a Treasury Single Account (TSA).

On allegations made by the former NDDC MD Joi Nunieh that he has compromised the audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, Akpabio denied the claim, saying there is an ongoing forensic audit, and he has not hijacked it.

He explained that the source of funding the commission includes the statutory transfers by the federal government and the 23 per cent accrual from oil companies.

“N71 billion was released out of the N100 billion allocated to the NDDC in 2019”, Mr Akpabio said.

Asked by House spokesperson, Benjamin Kalu, if he has ever acted as the MD of the NDDC, Mr Akpabio said when things are not going as they ought to, he waded in.


Senate leadership to meet presidency over 774,000 jobs

The Senate yesterday rose from a two-hour executive session mandating its leadership to meet President Muhammadu Buhari and convey its disappointment over the insistence of the executive to go ahead with the public work scheme.

The resolution came as the Federal Government on Tuesday announced committees nationwide to commence implementation of the programme.

The Guardian gathered that the lawmakers felt humiliated that the executive did not heed their directive to suspend the scheme pending when the ministry briefs the National Assembly on the modalities for engaging 774,000 persons for public works, in line with its constitutional oversight function.

Hence, before the commencement of plenary on Tuesday, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, had announced the closed session.

Though the lawmakers kept mute on the issue after the meeting, The Guardian gathered they were not happy but decided to play it low to avoid further humiliation.

The face-off got to a head when the senate started acting like the executive, giving orders a day after the lawmakers had a public spat with a minister.

A week later, after an executive session, the senate debated the earlier clash between the National Assembly Joint Committee on Labour and Minister of State for Labour, Festus Keyamo during which the lawmakers expressed anger about what they called display of executive rascality.

Consequently, the senate announced that the two chambers of the National Assembly had ordered that the implementation of the 774,000 public works programme should be put on hold until the National Assembly is properly briefed.
The National Assembly said President Muhammadu Buhari could approach the law court if he felt that his executive powers were being usurped or encroached upon.