Reps in Rowdy Session Over $496m Tucano fighter jets
The House of Representatives plenary became a rowdy session today over calls for impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari by a member of the People’s Democratic Party, Kingsley Chinda.
The row was over the payment of $496 million to the United States Government by the Buhari administration for the much needed 12 Super Tucano fighter jets.
It followed the reading of President Buhari’s letter to the House of Representatives, by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.
Members of the both chambers of the National Assembly have been spoiling for a fight over the payment, which they contended was done in breach of the constitution.
The Pentagon last year August notified the U.S. Congress of the sale to Nigeria of the 12 Super Tucano A-29 planes and weapons worth $593 million, needed for the fight against the militant group, Boko Haram.
The package included thousands of bombs and rockets.
The sale was originally agreed by former President Barack Obama’s administration but was put off by the Obama administration after incidents including the Nigerian Air Force’s bombing of a refugee camp in January that killed 90 to 170 civilians.
But on 2 August, the deadlock was broken by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, when it announced that the sale would go ahead.
The Super Tucano A-29, an agile, propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance and surveillance as well as attack capabilities, is made by Brazil’s Embraer. A second production line is in Florida, in a partnership between Embraer and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp of Sparks, Nevada.
The Super Tucano costs more than $10 million each and the price can go much higher depending on the configuration.
It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT 6 engine.