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28 Nov 2018

Senate Probes $500m Loan 'Obtained By Yahaya Bello Without Approval'

The Senate has directed the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt to look into the loan of $500million allegedly obtained by Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State, without approval.

The point of order was raised by Dino Melaye, the senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, during the plenary on Wednesday.

Citing Orders 42 and 52, Melaye claimed that the Kogi State Government signed a loan of $500million without the approval of the National Assembly or the Kogi State House of Assembly.

Speaking on the loan, Atai Aidoko, the senator representing Kogi East, said: “This is unacceptable. This state is in so much debt. There is no law that allows a Governor to withdraw $500million without approval from the Senate.
“The state has not been paying salaries; where is all this money going? Let us do the needful and put these loans to an end."

In his comments on the matter, Senate President Bukola Saraki stated: "There are comments and allegations that we must first decide. We must refer it to the Committee on Local Debt and we are supposed to set up an Ad-hoc Committee and give them a maximum of 48 hours to report back on whether this loan has been taken, the process to which these loans have been taken and that such actions should be suspended until we establish it them. Let us allow our Committee to establish the status of the point you raised."

The Senate resolved to refer the point of order to the Committee on Local and Foreign Debt to report back within 48 hours, or a maximum of five days.

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