Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Lawmakers of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ekiti State House of Assembly, yesterday, traded words over the approval of N10 billion 2018 supplementary budget, yesterday.
Three APC lawmakers, led by the Minority Leader, Gboyega Aribisogan, claimed they did not support passage of the bill and alleged that it was a fraudulent action by the House, 32 days to the expiration of Governor Ayodele Fayose’s administration.
However, Chairman, of the Committee on information, Samuel Omotosho insisted that the House followed due process in approving the revised Appropriation Bill, in accordance with the rules of the House, the same way the 2014 Revised Appropriation Bill was passed by the Fourth Assembly, under the then Speaker, Adewale Omirin and signed into law by the then governor, John Kayode Fayemi on September 15, 2014.
He said revising appropriation bills was normal in a democracy as it allows the executive arm to make provisions for both over and under budgeted headings in their quest to operate under the laws of the land.
Omotosho said the speaker had appealed to the Committee on Appropriation, few days ago, to expedite action on the scrutiny of the 2018 revised appropriation bill.
But, APC lawmakers described the action as a “ploy by Fayose to legitimise fraud, and vowed to resist it through legal and constitutional means.”
Aribisogan said: “The APC lawmakers and some members are not in support of the bill because it has been discovered that the outgoing governor wanted to use the House to legitimise fraud.
“The proposed appropriation bill is the handiwork of governor Fayose and his cronies; to cover up massive fraud in some Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).
“The appropriation bill is not meant to improve the lives of our people in the state, but to cover up some unapproved spending of the governor. It is a fraudulent bill to cover fraudulent spending. That’s why the governor wanted the bill to be passed without proper scrutiny.
“The Appropriation Committee did not sit on the bill. It was backdated to August 30, to give an impression that the Appropriation Committee had since been deliberating on it.
Speaker Kolawole Oluwawole was given the bill last Friday, when he was summoned to the Governor’s Lodge. As usual, he was given a marching order to call the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Jeje Samuel, to make a public statement on the revised budget.
“The progressives in the House are now the majority. We have met. We have resolved to boycott sittings on the dubious budget. We learnt they want to reopen the Assembly for one hour to pass the budget. We are waiting and watching.
“It is ridiculous to hear that a government that has less than 32 days wants to spend N10 billion.
The governor is yet to tell us how he has managed the finances of this state…”