Posted by News Express | 1 February 2019 | 1,050 times
A broad spectrum of Lagos rights and pro-democracy activists on Thursday took on the State House of Assembly, warning it to immediately backtrack from its attempt to impeach Governor Akinwunmi Ambode over alleged budget infractions.
“We received with trepidation and amazement, the recent impeachment threat on the Lagos State Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode by the Lagos State House of Assembly on the premise that he failed to lay the 2019 budget before the house, as customarily demanded of him but rather sent same to the speaker and had been expending money without approval.
“We are of the opinion that these perceived infractions of the Governor cannot be equated to mean gross misconduct, hence, such subtle threat of impeachment over an administrative matter that can easily be resolved by mere notification of such oversight, except there is an innocuous undertone which is unknown to the larger populace of Lagos and this is unwarranted,” a statement signed by Adeola Samuel-Ilori Esq., President, Vote for Service Initiative, and Alex Omotehinse, for Civil Society Coalition Lagos, said.
“As much as we are aware of importance of budget presentation before the House, which is a yearly ritual as stated in the constitution, the provision does not expressly state that it must be done by the executive Governor himself,” the groups said.
The statement further said: “Suffice it to say that it can also be delegated by his authority to his Commissioner for Finance, with examples which we have seen in the laying of budget by the former Goodluck Jonathan administration, which was done by the finance minister, before the senate.
“We are not oblivious of the rumours of certain dealings wherein it has been alleged that some members of the House of Assembly want the Governor to pick their campaign expenses. Also the alleged anti-party activities of the Governor which cannot be substantiated with documentary evidences so far, on both sides.
“We also don’t want to dwell on rumours or conjectures but what is within the realm of what was made public.
“We therefore demand inter alia:
“1. That this negative voyage embarked on by the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly be suspended forthwith and for them to find an amicable way to resolve their differences without allowing the fortune of the state to be frittered away over an egoistic political feud.
“2. That the Governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode endeavors to fulfill the constitutional provision to lay budget, not necessarily by himself if need be, also by proxy through the Commissioner of finance.
“3. That the Legislators in this instance the Honourable of the Lagos State House of Assembly, be more proactive and concentrate on how to deliver dividends of democracy to the good people of Lagos State who repose confidence in them by electing them as their representatives and stop chasing shadows.
“4. We call on all well-meaning Lagosians and elders to as a matter of urgency prevail on the legislators to stop insinuation and subtle threat of impeachment against the executive governor of the state in the interest of their party wellbeing as well not to heat up the polity because the death of a mad man will definitely reveal that he is of a noble family.
“5. We finally urge the Honourable Speaker of the House to as a matter of urgency, purge himself of allegation of financial malfeasance and mismanagement of an humongous #28.4b being the running costs in the last one year expended in the house under his leadership by responding to the allegations as stated in the punch newspaper of 30th January, 2019 by
another civil society group, failure to which we will have no other choice than to petition the appropriate authority on financial crime to do the needful.”
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