Factional Edo Lawmakers Want EFCC To Probe the State/LG. Joint AccountFeatured, Latest News, Politics Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Ignatius Okpara, Benin
The lingering crisis at the Edo state House of Assembly on Monday assumed a new twist, as the opposition peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members passed a resolution asking the Economic and Finance Crimes Commission, EFCC, to commence investigation of the state/local government joint account from May 12, 2014 till date.
The sitting, which was presided over by the factional Speaker, Chief Festus Ebea, also directed the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission, RAMFAC, to henceforth withhold the revenue allocation accruing to the 18 local government council areas of the state.
The minority lawmakers equally ordered the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to bring before it, evidence of revenue receipts from the Federation Account as it earlier directed.
African Examiner recalled that the Edo State House of Assembly has been factionalised following the suspension of four PDP lawmakers, who had defected from the All Progressives Congress, APC, on the 9th of June with Speaker Uyi Igbe also leading 15 other APC legislators.
The resolution of the PDP members of the House followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by the member representing Etsako West constituency.
Mr. Abdulrazaq Momoh, had drawn the attention of the House to the refusal of the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Lucky James, and council chairmen to furnish the House with receipts and expenditures of revenue allocations.
The lawmaker pointed out that Section 129 of the 1999 constitution empowers the legislators to procure all evidence or summon any person living in Nigeria to come and give evidence.
According to him, “Local governments are being constantly short changed as less than half of the Federal Allocation only gets to them,” and therefore, urged the House to take necessary steps as part of its oversight functions to stop what it described as rip off of Edo councils.
While Seconding the motion, the Minority Whip of the House, Mr. Kingsley Ehigiamusoe, said the legislators have a duty to procure evidence and summon any official.
He added “We must summon them by whatever means.
“The Revenue and Fiscal Mobilisation Commission should look into the statutory receipt so that the fraud of the ministry could be checked.” he stated.
Thereafter, the Factional Speaker of the Assembly, Ebea, directed that clean copies of the resolution be sent to the state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Also to get copies of the document, include anti-graft agencies the EFCC, ICPC, Ministry of Finance as well as other relevant state and Federal Government establishments.
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