Plateau lawmakers fail to discuss Governor Jang’s N20 billion corruption allegation

Jonah Jang, Plateau state governor

Mr. Jang was accused of corruption by a group called, Plateau Patriotic Front.

The Plateau State House of Assembly on Thursday failed to discuss a 10-page petition sent to the legislature on Governor Jonah Jang’s corruption allegations.

On Wednesday, members of the Assembly resorted to rowdiness over the petition by a group, Plateau Patriotic Front, alleging gross financial misconduct amounting to N20 billion by Mr. Jang.

The petition was dated May 15 and copied to President Goodluck Jonathan; the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Adamu Mua’zu; his Plateau State counterpart, Haruna Dabin; the Manager of the Central Bank, Jos branch, and three other commercial banks in the state.

The petition was also copied to State Auditor General, Commissioner of Police, Director of the SSS and the 17 local council chairmen in the state.

However, the petition was not deliberated upon on Wednesday following a disagreement among members.

“The petitioner called us names and also alleged that we have been bribed by the governor not to check the government.”

“The House must get to the bottom of this petition in the interest of the entire people of the state,” a lawmaker, Wokdung Abbas (Labour Party), had told his colleagues on Wednesday.

Following the rowdiness and opposition by some pro-Jang lawmakers, the Speaker of the Assembly, Titus Alam, said deliberation on the petition would commence only when the 24 members were served the petition.

“It is obvious from the point of other raised that some members have not been served copies of the petition and it will not be fair to talk over it. We have to adjourn the house to discuss the petition on another date,” the speaker said.

The Assembly was subsequently adjourned.

On Thursday when the Assembly resumed, the petition was not part of the “order of the day” on the order paper served members; and no reason was given.

When the Assembly eventually commenced sitting at about 2:00 p.m., three hours behind the usual sitting time, members did not discuss the petition.

The legislature instead invited contractors handling the 5-kilometre road contracts in the 17 council areas of the state to explain the delay in completing the jobs.

The road contract was awarded by the governor in 2012, with a completion time of 24 months. However, 60 per cent of the contract is yet to be done.

Governor Jang, while inspecting road projects in the state, early 2014, gave some of the contractors till May to complete the road and make it ready for commissioning on or before May 29. However, most of the contractors failed to meet the deadline.

A visit to the 5-kilometre road at its various sites, including Jos North Local Government Area, showed that most were haphazardly constructed.

The Assembly members, while interrogating the contractors, frowned at the slow space of the work. The legislators resolved that any contractor who failed to provide good reasons for the delay would face the Assembly’s wrath.

The Commissioner, Ministry of Works and Housing, Chris Hassan, had, during a media tour of the road projects in March, said government did not owe contractors. He said the present administration was prepared to complete and commission all projects initiated by it before 2015.

All the contractors who appeared before the House of Assembly over their alleged non-performance on the contracts declined comments to journalists.

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