Ogun lawmakers jet out to U.S for “legislative rudiments”

Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State

The trip is alleged to be an attempt by Mr. Amosun to pacify the lawmakers

All the 26 members of the Ogun State House of Assembly have travelled to the United States of America on the bill of the state government.

The trip is not an official recess as the lawmakers had just resumed from a lengthy recess on November 13.

It is not clear what the mission of the lawmakers to the U.S. is, but sources at the state government say that they are in the U.S. to learn “legislative rudiments.”

The trip comes about two weeks after the lawmakers resumed plenary following a feud that had threatened to tear them apart.

The lawmakers had claimed that they were angry at the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, and the Speaker of the Assembly, Suraj Adekumbi, and refused to cut short their recess as requested by the speaker. Some of them claimed in interviews with PREMIUM TIMES that the governor was not concerned with their “welfare.”

The speaker asked the lawmakers to cut short their recess in order to approve commissioner nominees of the state government. Majority of the lawmakers, 19 out of 26, declined.

Mr. Amosun had to hold a secret meeting with the lawmakers before their resumption of plenary on November 13. It is not clear if this trip is one of the ways the state government is trying to take care of the lawmakers’’ ‘welfare.’

The lawmakers approved the commissioner nominees on November 20. Less than a week later, they are all on a state sponsored trip.

No one of the lawmakers, who all travelled over the weekend, was available for a reaction on their official reason for going on the trip that would cost the state millions of naira.

The state’s Commissioner for Information, Yusuf Olaniyonu, was also unavailable for comment. When PREMIUM TIMES called Mr. Olaniyonu’s number, someone else picked the call saying the commissioner was not around and he was not authorised to respond to any enquiry from journalists.

The lawmakers are expected to return over the weekend.


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  • Oduduwa

    Up A.C.N !!!! Association of Con-men of Nigeria!

  • Remmy KSR Hazzan

    RESPONSE TO THE 2.6BN BRIBERY ALLEGATION AND THE FOREIGN TRIP BY OGHA TO PASS BUDGET 2013

    The role of a legislature revolves round three critical areas viz; Appropriation, Plenary & Oversight (APO). Save for Appropriation and Plenary, the application of the oversight techniques to really carry out checks and balances, embark on investigative oversight, check leakages in the system, assess the implementability of existing legislation, justify the desirability of proposed legislation as well aggregate the need for a review of an existing process is greatly suspect especially in emerging democracies like Nigeria and other developing nations.

    This informs why the UK based Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (which the National Assembly and all State houses of Assembly in Nigeria are members) mandates its members to at least once in a Legislative year participate in a capacity building conference which is hosted by member countries on rotational basis as well as a scheduled visit to an established democracy to acquaint with global legislative best practices.
    I was a delegate to the 2008 CPA conference in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 2009 CPA Conference in Arusha, Tanzania, 2010 CPA Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
    The House of Assembly of Ogun State also embarked on a capacity building visitation to Glasgow, Scotland in 2001, London, England in 2002, London England 2004, Aberdeen, Scotland, 2006, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2008, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2008 and so forth

    These visitations are targeted at sharpening the skill of parliamentarians to meet up with emerging trends in legislative spheres and it is a routine in any legislature that is worth its salt.

    However, since its inauguration on the 6th of June, 2011, OGHA has neither embarked on any CPA capacity building conference (Bangladesh 2011 and Zambia 2012) nor any understudy of an established legislature carried out. Yet, that is a house of assembly that has twenty(20) new comers out of twenty six members.
    The OGHA is the only parliament in Nigeria till now that is yet to embark on these necessary and relevant routine foreign trips among the 36 state houses of assembly and the national assembly. This is despite the fact that there are local government legislative houses that have already embarked on more than two of such tours in this tenure. The reason for this is because so many things that were wrong with the system in Ogun State from the last tenure needed to be corrected. One of such was the 2011 hurriedly passed budget by the G11 group of legislators among others.

    After taking a cursory look at our calendar, the only window available to meet up with this capacity building tour requirement is the last week in November. This was scheduled since September 2012.

    It is worthy of note here that I have been out of the country since 12th Nov to meet up with an appointment in the city of Manama in Bahrain and left Bahrain to Atlanta on the 16th of November also to physically receive from the A.D. king/Martin Luther King foundation an award of excellence in public service particularly for being a youthful defender of democratic ideals in the third world. The occasion held on 17th November 2012 @ 18hrsET(23hrs GMT) in Atlanta, USA. because of flight connection challenges, I was not even present at the budget presentation in the hallowed chamber of OGHA on 20th Nov., 2012. As we speak, I am still in the US.
    Members of the OGHA left Nigeria for Frankfurt, Germany on 21st Nov., and will arrive Albany, Georgia, USA this weekend. So, where is the inducement?

    On this note, I want to posit that attempting to interprete a legislative routine as an inducement is uncharitable, uncomplimentary, unacceptable, slanderous, preposterous and above all reflecting only of a hallucinating maggot yet to come to terms with the reality of being once upon a time in power.
    Do we then say that the tours that happened in the past governments were also inducements?
    Little wonder, no such cries come up in the Lagos State House of Assembly as fund for such trips is sourced from the LAHA account since that house operate a self accounting law.
    The time is NOW for that to happen in Ogun State. Enough of this cap in hand approach to funding of a whole parliament.

    Finally on the issue of the alleged 2.6bn naira bribe and other bribery allegations, the likes of Bakey and other faceless, hallucinating characters should supply facts as anti graft agencies will be more than willing to take this up. Where this cannot be done, let your silence on this matter be deafening.
    The OGHA that I belong to is still and will continue to be the bastion of representative democracy in our dear state needing no inducements to perform its constitutional duties.

    Remmy KSR Hazzan