The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday threatened to impeach Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for allegedly spending funds which were not appropriated for.
The Assembly subsequently asked Ambode to appear before it within one week over the 2019 budget, which has caused disagreement between the two arms of government.
Ambode had sent the 2019 budget to the House in December against the tradition of laying the budget before the House.
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, told the lawmakers that it was important to give the governor a fair hearing over the issue.
He said the governor’s action was in violation of the constitution.
Obasa said, “The attorney general, finance commissioner and commissioner for budget and economic planning that ought to have advised the governor did not do so.
“The most important thing is that we should let the people know that a budget that has yet to be approved was being spent, which was why we could not attend to the governor on the budget on Monday 21, January.
“We must give them a fair hearing to come and explain what happened.
“The point has been made that there must be something before the House before you can commence expenditure. We want to call on the governor to come within a week to explain himself…”
“We can start gathering signatures for impeachment. We can wait till another time,” he said.
The discussion was sequel to a report presented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who is the chairman of an ad hoc committee set up to look into the issues surrounding the 2019 budget during a parliamentary meeting of the lawmakers.
The deputy speaker revealed that the committee met with relevant commissioners and heads of agencies which revealed several infractions.
He said the committee discovered that the 2019 Budget was already being implemented by the executive without being laid on the floor of the House. He also noted that 2018 budget, as of the 3rd quarter of 2018 had not performed up to 50 per cent.
Another legislator, Akeem Bello, called on Ambode and his deputy to resign.
Another lawmaker, Dayo Saka-Fafunmi, said, “Public funds do not belong to any of us, it belongs to the people of Lagos State. Section 120 subsection 2 states that no money should be withdrawn from the accounts of the states unless it is approved by the House.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.”
Posted by Juliet Ekwebelam (Punch)