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Nigeria's Senate seeks explanation of $462 million to buy helicopters

A Bell helicopter.Nigeria’s upper chamber of parliament on Tuesday said it would invite the central bank governor and the ministers of finance and defence to explain the release of $462 million to buy helicopters, a lawmaker said.

Senator Sam Anyanwu said the money was withdrawn from the federal account in March without the approval of lawmakers.

“Senate resolves to invite the CBN Governor and Ministers of Finance and Defense to shed more light on the release of the funds,” the Senate said in a tweet.

According to Anyanwu, “I have it on good authority that in March, 2018, from the Federation Account, a sum of 462 million dollars was withdrawn and paid for helicopters to an American firm.

“This is without the approval of the National Assembly. I know that at no time was there any request from this Senate for any such withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Account of the federation.

“I want to find out if anything was done.

“I will suggest we invite the CBN Governor, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Defence to tell us how this money was withdrawn and paid into an American company without the approval of the Senate,” he said.

On Monday the Chief of Air Staff of the Nigerian Air Force said the Nigerian Air Force was inducting six new helicopters into service, with more on the way.