- Lawmakers at the Lagos state House of Assembly summoned Governor Ambode over alleged infractions
- The lawmakers alleged that the governor committed gross violations over the state's appropriation law
- Some of the members of the state Assembly are calling for his impeachment while others want him to explain before any action is taken
The members of Lagos state House of Assembly have moved against Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in an action that could lead to impeachment process on him
The Lagos Assembly also summoned the governor to appear before it within one week over the 2019 budget, which has caused disagreement between the two arms of government.
The governor is under the heat over the way he presented the 2019 budget as well as issues with the 2018 appropriation law of the state.
A committee set up by the House and chaired by the deputy speaker, Wasiu Sanni-Eshilokun, had reportedly alleged major infractions and gross violations.
Members of the committee include Hon Moshood Oshun, chairman, committee on public accounts, Gbolahan Yishawu (budget), Dayo Saka-Fafunmi (environment) and Abiodun Tobun (works).
The speaker of the House, Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa told the lawmakers that it was important to give the governor a fair hearing over the issue involving the 2019 budget.
According to Obasa, there have been violations of the constitution and infractions on the part of the governor.
"The attorney general, finance commissioner and commissioner for budget and economic planning that ought to have advised the governor did not do so.
"The most important thing is that we should let the people know that a budget that was yet to be approved was being spent, which was why we could not attend to the governor on the budget on Monday 21, January. We must give them a fair hearing to come and explain what happened.
"The point has been made that there must be something before the House before you can commence expenditure. We want to call on the governor to come within a week to explain himself. We can start gathering signatures for impeachment. We can exercise patience and wait till another time," Obasa said.
Eshinlokun revealed that the committee met with relevant commissioners and heads of agencies adding that the committee met with the commissioner For budget and economic planning, Hon Segun Banjo, who said that no money had been spent for the year.
The deputy speaker said that the accountant general told the committee that warrant had been issued that they could spend up to 25 percent of the preceding budget before the approval of that of the new year.
He said that they would have to make a recourse to the House if they wanted to spend up to N200 million.
"We pointed out that the Governor ought to lay the budget of the New Year before December 31st, but that so far the budget was yet to be laid, which was on January 23, 2019.
"We asked them to bring out the law that allows them to spend up to 20% of the budget of the preceding year. They could not bring out such law and we said what they did was wrong.
"We discovered that people have started receiving alerts and this has a grave implication for the executive. It is our finding that for smooth running of government, there must be a strict adherent to the constitution and it must not be violated. We decided to bring the report before the lawmakers for us to take action," he said.
Gbolahan Yishawu further explained that the committee on budget discovered during budget appropriation review that there were some specific expenditure in the budgets that ought to have been approved by the House over which funds were expended.
He said these were misnomers, and that they noticed variation in the expenditure and budget approved.
Tunde Braimoh, who said that the manner of revelation was of serious concern, noted that they all swore to uphold the tenets of the constitution of Nigeria. He added that sections 120 and 121 explained the roles of each arm of government when it comes to financial expenditure.
In his explanation, Bisi Yusuf pointed out that the governor is an accountant and was an acting auditor general in 2001 and was confirmed in 2005.
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"With his level of exposure, he cannot claim ignorance. He is being surrounded by intellectuals, so they ought to have advised him including the deputy governor and the commissioner for budget and economic planning.
"The attorney general ought to have been removed for quoting a law that does not exist. All those, who are given the governor bad advice should be removed. In the whole of Lagos, things have shut down. This is an offence that is not pardonable. I want to say this is an impeachable offence for the governor and the commissioners," he said.
Adjourned to Monday, February 4, at noon.
Legit.ng had previously reported that the Lagos state House of assembly on Thursday, December 10, rejected a correspondence from Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, which the executive arm of government claimed was the budget for 2019.
It was reported that the House, in discrediting the correspondence, cited section 121 of the country's constitution which stipulates that the head of the executive should present the budget before the House.
The lawmakers insisted, and it was approved, that the governor must be the one to present the budget before the House.
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