Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Thursday debunked claims by the National Assembly that he signed budgets without details while in power.
Mr. Obasanjo was president between 1999 and 2007.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmimuni Jubril, had said that there were occasions when the former president signed budgets the federal legislature transmitted to him without seeing the details.
The lawmaker was explaining why the National Assembly recently sent the 2016 budgets it passed to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent without accompanying details.
Mr. Buhari refused to sign the budget which details were subsequently sent to him Thursday.
Mr. Obasanjo, who was on a visit to Mr. Buhari, told journalists at the presidential villa that he was surprised by the lawmaker’s comment.
He said the legislature should be contacted again to prove the authenticity of its claim.
“Emm, I signed budget without details? Anybody who told you that, go and ask him again,” he said.
He said he would not only talk about his feelings about the budget because he had not read the document to know what it contained.
On the delay in signing the budget and its impact on Nigerians, Mr. Obasanjo explained that the constitution allows the government to spend money up till the middle of the year before a new budget is approved, though it should not be more than a certain percentage of the previous year’s budget.
He said, “No. The constitution allows you to continue with the budget provided you did not go beyond the previous year and that can be done up till the middle of the year.”
Mr. Obasanjo kept mum when asked to comment on the trial of the senate president, Bukola Saraki, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal for alleged false asset declaration.
He merely said, ““Emm, What is happening to him?”
On the purpose of his visit to Mr. Buhari, the former president said, “You know that not too long ago I was out here and I came to share some of my experiences with him.”
When asked what the experiences were, Mr. Obasanjo said, “If I say I share experiences with my wife, will you ask what I discussed with my wife?”
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