Impeachment Threat Against Ambode May Hit Brick Wall

Impeachment Threat Against Ambode May Hit Brick Wall

…CSO asks Assembly to Account for N28.8 billion Running Cost Indications that the impeachment threat by members of the Lagos State House of Assembly which observers say is being driven by selfish pecuniary desires than the interest of the people, may suffer setback was visible at the weekend as the Legislative Probity and Accountability Project

…CSO asks Assembly to Account for N28.8 billion Running Cost

Indications that the impeachment threat by members of the Lagos State House of Assembly which observers say is being driven by selfish pecuniary desires than the interest of the people, may suffer setback was visible at the weekend as the Legislative Probity and Accountability Project (LPAP), on Friday told Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to ignore the summons of the Assembly to appear before a committee to defend allegations against him or be impeached.

Renown International Law Scholar, Prof Akin Oyebode, a former vice chancellor of Ekiti State University also warns that if not well handled, the impeachment of Abode, who lost out in the high wired politics for a second term bid, may sound the death knell of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in Lagos.

“The APC in Lagos seems to be making a death wish. First, you muscled out a performing man from a second bite of the apple. Now, you want to throw him under the bus which, quite frankly, amounts to an overkill. If they persist in this misadventure, the people will teach them a lesson which they will never forget in the coming election,” he says.

The Assembly members who are said to be miffed and uncomfortable with the refusal of Ambode to fund their campaigns amounting to several billions of naira, may have resorted to arm twisting to compel a retreat. The House which says it may impeach the governor over alleged gross misconduct summon him to appear within one week for failure to formally present the 2019 budget.

But LPAP said the governor 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 whooping 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.

Said he, “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 authorise 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 authorised 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 authorised for the immediately preceding financial year.”

Continuing, LPAP 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 uncivilised politicking to say the least.”

The group challenged the lawmakers to acquaint themselves with provisions of the constitution, which allows the governor to delegate executive powers to his appointees.

It said: “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 of 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 the question the Lagos House of Assembly must answer and fully account for this taxpayers fund.”

The Assembly members in their contributions to a report submitted by the deputy speaker, Hon Wasiu Esinlokun not only accused Governor Ambode of inaction but also dangled impeachment threat.

Hon Rotimi Olowo

Rewriting of the budget is an impeachable offence. The government has been shut down and our roads are in a sorry state. There must be continuity of projects in the budget and this is not followed. Borrowing without informing the House is impeachable. IPP is being owed. If the governor is tired, he should resign.

Hon Moshood Oshun

When you apply for a job, and you are given, if you are tired, you can leave. If the governor is tired, he should go. The budget is a law, when we pass a budget, they rewrite their own. What they say is that they are above the law. If you go to Alausa today, all the MDAs are shut down. All their files are with the governor and he did not work on them.

Hon Richard Kasunmu

This is a non-compliance with the rule of law. The state is about to be totally shut down, so we should checkmate the situation. If the governor is tired, he should throw in the towel. We cannot keep on standstill because some people are tired.

Hon Rasheed Makinde

Three years down the lane, the executive cannot tell the people of Lagos that they don’t know what they are doing. It is obvious that the governor is tired, so they should all go. They even made a mistake in the letter they wrote to the House. Lagos State used to present its budget before others even before the federal government. They ought to work based on the budget or they come for reordering. All government agencies have been rendered useless, civil servants are sleeping in their offices. The State House of Assembly must approve the budget. We must pass a vote of no confidence on the Attorney General, commissioners for budget, finance, the governor and the deputy governor.

Hon Yinka Ogundimu

The governor has always been disobeying our motions. They refused to follow our motions on the environment, which is why everywhere is dirty. If you look at the various projects not provided for in the budget that are being done, then it is breach of the constitution. The people concerned should resign before we invoke the aspect of the constitution that gives us power to remove them from office. We should make it clear that there have been warnings from us.

Hon Sola Giwa

This is a matter of constitutionality and it is about the law. We all swore to uphold the law. If you breach the law, there is a consequence and the best is for the House to begin an impeachment process.

Hon Victor Akande

There is no need for virement according to the constitution. I don’t think there is any budget before the House. The constitution states that the budget must be laid and it is a gross misconduct. So, we should do the needful.

Hon Fatai Mojeed.

We received the money from Paris Fund and other funds, the executive did not take permission before they spent the money.

Hon. Jude Idimogu

The government is not moving forward. Our party is the APC and we are doing well. The government is not putting us in the light and we have the opposition that are watching us. No budget has been laid before the House; the key members such as attorney general, commissioners for finance and commissioner for budget and economic planning. The needful is impeachment.

Hon Noheem Raheem

I support the fact that they should resign if they are tired.

Hon Fatai Oluwa

This is a deliberate attempt by the governor not to bring the budget before the House. He is surrounded by erudite lawyers that ought to have advised him. Public works, LAWMA, IPP are more working. If it would be necessary to sign and send him out of office it would be okay.

Hon Oladele Adekanye

It is clear that there are infractions and impeachable offence committed. The defences of the commissioners are not tenable.

Hon Sabur Olayiwola

There have been abuse of the constitution and disobedient to the constitution. Spending without making recourse to the Assembly is an impeachable offence. The best thing is to show him that we are representing our people and that we are not here for fun. The beat thing is to let them know that we mean business. The permanent secretary/accountant general that is talking about 25% spending should be brought to book.

Hon Akeem Shokunle

The financial misconduct of the governor is obvious and we should begin an impeachment process.

Hon Mosunmola Sangodara

The situation is an unfortunate one. Section 121 of the constitution states the appropriation bill should be laid before the House and this has not been done. It is an abuse of office and an undue influence by the governor. We can start an impeachment process and pass a vote of no confidence on some of the members of the executive.

Hon Funmilayo Tejuosho

We are the voice of the people of Lagos state and we perform oversight functions to ensure that the government do the best for the people. Accountability is not being done here. Section 121 made it clear that the appropriation bill should be laid before the house. Section 122 states that if that has been done, you can now spend 25% of the budget estimate for a period of six months. We need to forward the infractions to the Governor. The tax payers should know what their money is being spent on.

Hon Setonji David

The infractions are too grave, there is a problem and we need to do what is right. The government must be held responsible for their actions.

Hon Akeem Bello

The governor and his Deputy should tender their resignation letter.

Hon Dayo Saka-Fafunmi

I am sad over the revelations by what the deputy speaker reads and during out interactions with the executive. The business of governance is not based on sentiments, it is based on law. Section 120 of the constitution that talks about the public fund is very important. Public fund does not belong to any of us, it belongs to the people of Lagos state. Section 120 subsection two states that no money should be withdrawn from the accounts of the states unless it is approved by the House. All the violations amount to gross misconduct. Section 188 subsection defines gross misconduct. We strongly believe that essential services that ought to be met are missing in the state. I am in line with the statement and decisions of the members that if the executive members are not ready for governance, they should resign or should be impeached.

Hon Mojisola Miranda

The constitution is clear that there is punishment for any offence.

Hon Dayo Famakinwa

I want to support my colleagues that the offences are impeachable and we should activate the process immediately.

Hon Folajinmi Mohammed

There is a vagrant abuse of the constitution, which is an impeachable offence.

Hon Lanre Ogunyemi

It is an issue of flagrant disobedient to the constitution. A review of a previous year’s budget is a precursor to the approval of the new budget. A review of the 2018 budget shows poor performance. MDAs complained of inability to access their funds. All these infractions should be communicated to the governor for his reaction and if he fails to do so, the House can begin a process of impeachment.

Hon Omotayo Oduntan

Today is a sad day. The executive just moved money from one ministry to another without recourse to the Assembly. When all these happen, it shows a total disregard to the budget being passed by the House. We should get across to the Governor to explain himself or else we should begin an impeachment process.

Hon Sanai Agunbiade

There are three arms of government of which the executive is one. Our government is still running and not shut down. What we want to do is to ensure that the infractions from one arm of government does not affect another. It is clear that the budget has not been presented before the House. My colleagues have addressed all the issues. We should let the public know that we do not have the budget before the House. Three suggestions we made, that the commissioners, who were approved by the House and are working with the governor should have vote of no confidence passed on them. They have failed in their responsibilities. The next is for the governor to resign or we should begin an impeachment process against the Governor. We can communicate to him to reign or failure to do that is for us to start collecting signatures of lawmakers so that we can be seeing to have done our job.

Hon Rotimi Abiru

I want to adopt what has been done without wasting much time. There have been some infractions on the part of the Governor and the position of the law is clear.

Hon Wahab Jimoh

I saw this coming like an ocean surge. The attorney general wrote the House to withdraw the private member bills before the House. I had been noticing that there would be crisis. The report I saw with the deputy speaker shows that the 2019 is being implemented.

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