The presidency has said that the 7th National Assembly headed by former Senate President, Senator David Mark; former speaker, House of Representatives, Gov Aminu Tambuwal failed Nigerians.
It stated that if the federal lawmakers at that time carried out an effective oversight function, funds looted under ex-National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke, among others would have been checked.
Incumbent Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, was also in the 7th Assembly.
Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said this in a chat with newsmen on Tuesday.
Enang said: “If the committees in the 7th National Assembly were doing their job, checking what was happening in the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, Petroleum Ministry, we would not have had Diezanigate and all the other gates.
“We will not have all the probes. Because the legislature concentrated less, that is why we are having the spill that the 8th Assembly is having. I feel guilty and I want to apologise. If the legislature did its duty like it is doing now, I think we will not have this situation.”
He disagreed with senators on the issue of padding of the 2018 Appropriation Bill, saying there was no such thing as padding in the budget, as the proposals were documents which could be seen as dead on arrival.
“You are not going to have uncommon compromise; you are going to have engagement, not something combustible. In all my legislative years, padding was a new word in the legislative lexicon, so we have to define it as a new matter.
‘’In my opinion, padding is an illegal or unlawful insertion by a person who is not expected to do it into a legal, purely completed legislative document. Therefore, unless a bill has been passed and forwarded to Mr President for assent, there can be no padding.
“If the Bill had been forwarded to the President and something is inserted into that before it is assented to by any person and something is added different from what is in the votes and proceedings of the Senate and the House of Representatives, is what constitutes padding.
“On the part of the executive, if a Bill is forwarded to Mr President, be it a Bill on any matter or budget and the President or the Governor, something is inserted by the Governor or by the executive into the Bill before assenting, that is padding.
“Again, if after a Bill had been assented to by the President, and forwarded to the National Assembly for publication and gazetting and somebody inserts something into it before publication in the gazette, that is padding.
“Because you are adding an illegal, unlawful entry into a document that is legal and that is contamination of the document.”