The Legislative Probity and Accountability Project (LPAP), in Abuja on Friday told governor Akinwunmi Ambode to ignore the summon of the Lagos State House of Asembly to appear before a committee to defend allegations against him or be impeached.
The organisation said he should also not send his appointees as there was no basis for the harassment other than selfish interests.
While warning that the legislators should “desist from the impeachment threat or face mass revolt of the people”, LPAP insisted that the legislators lack basis to initiate any impeachment proceeding against Ambode since they could not account for the N28.8 billion said to have been collected as running cost under the Mudashiru Obasa leadership of the House without doing anything.
The Chairman of LPAP, Comrade Olu Fajana, in a statement, said it was ridiculous for the lawmakers to summon Ambode before a committee to defend allegations against him or be impeached.
He said, “We have studied the pretentious allegations for which they have been ridiculing and desecrating the office of Lagos state governor. We dare say that if indeed the lawmakers know their work or take time to study the constitution, they will understand that they cannot hold the governor for going ahead to spend part of the 2019 budget, which they have deliberately refused to consider and approve over two months after the budget proposal had been sent to them.
“Section 122 of the 1999 constitution, as amended, says expressly that: ‘If the Appropriation Bill in respect of any financial year has not been passed into Law by the beginning of the financial year, the governor may authorize the withdrawal of moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the service of the government for a period not exceeding six months or until the coming into operation of the Law, whichever is the earlier.
‘Provided that the withdrawal in respect of any such period shall not exceed the amount authorized to be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State under the provisions of the Appropriation Law passed by the House of Assembly for the corresponding period in the immediately preceding financial year being an amount proportionate to the total amount so authorized for the immediately preceding financial year.’
Fajana said, “We believe this is clear enough and has removed any doubt as to whether the governor has the right to spend from the 2019 budget, which the Assembly had, in pursuit of its pre-determined agenda, held back with the sole purpose of crippling the government and making it incapable of delivering good governance to the people. This is barbaric and uncivilized politicking to say the least.”
LPAP challenged the lawmakers to acquaint themselves with provisions of the constitution, which allows the governor to delegate executive powers to his appointees.
“We will also like to draw the attention of these lawmakers to Section 5(2) of the constitution on the delegation of executive powers as well as Section 188 that deals with impeachment procedure.
“This is necessary for them so that they can save themselves from further embarrassment and relieve the people of Lagos of a pending confrontation between the forces light, that is the masses and that of darkness, which has for long feasted rapaciously on the commonwealth of the people of Lagos.
“We still wish to remind the Mudashiru Obasa-led House of Assembly about our challenge to them to account for the N9.6 billion they have been collecting each year as running cost, and pocketing so far N28.8 billion.
“We insist that out of this sum, the entire members have been paid only N2.4 billion in three years. Where did the remaining over N26.4 billion disappear to? This is question the Lagos House of Assembly must answer and fully account for this taxpayers fund.”