Imo State House of Assembly has voted against financial autonomy for the legislature, Judiciary and Local Government in a move that has sent shock waves across the state
In a special sitting of Tuesday, January11, 2023 presided over by the speaker, Mr. Emeka Nduka, the house felt that it was not ideal to grant financial autonomy to the other two key arms of the government: legislature and judiciary, as well as the local government level.
Items 1, 2 and 9 of the order paper of the day which the house voted against read thus: “Alteration Bill No.1: A Bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to abrogate the state Joint Local Government Account and Provide for a Special Account into which shall be paid all allocations due to Local Government councils from the Federation Account and from the Government of the state; and for related matters.
“A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to establish Local Government Councils as a tier of government and guarantee their democratic existence and tenure and for related matters.
“A bill for an act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 to provide for the financial independence of state houses and state Judiciary.”
It would be recalled that the Senate and House of Representatives have seriously frowned against the inability of the State houses of assembly to transmit back to them the 1999 Constitutional amendments which they sent to the assemblies long ago for their input in line with the Constitutional requirements and their non-challant postures had brought delays to such landmark amendments.
According to reports most members of the house were not comfortable with voting against their financial autonomy, judicial and that of the local government system, but could not help it.