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Arms deal scandal: Senate to blame, Saraki says

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Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki Tuesday said if the relevant committees of the Senate had performed their constitutional roles in monitoring and investigating how funds allocated to defence had been utilised, the nation will not be witnessing the mind-boggling stories that are coming out from the on-going investigation into the arms deal in the Office of the National Security Adviser.

He stated that the issue has called to question whether the Senate is effective in the performance of its oversight functions.
Saraki made the remark during the plenary session in the legislative chamber on a motion titled “Abandonment of Projects: A Menace to Development in Nigeria” sponsored by Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North).

He further charged Committees of the upper chamber to take their duties more seriously to prevent the high rate of abandoned projects and fraudulent tendencies of government officials.

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“I want us in this 8th Senate to ensure that our committees carry out proper oversight and that we in the leadership we are going to ensure that we find a way to make sure that committees do their work on oversight because truly that is the bottom line to this”, he said.

According to him, “Even the current investigation going on in the National Security Advisers Office, whether we like it or not, in a way too raises valid questions about the oversight function of the National Assembly. We must play our roles in the area of oversight because if we don’t do it, at the end of the day this is what we will get”.

The Senate President said a proper Senate oversight function would have revealed and prevent all the mess that an investigation directed by President Muhammadu Buhari is now revealing.

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