The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, has challenged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and other members of the executive arm to prove that lawmakers had been receiving N800 million monthly since 2015.
Mr Obasa spoke Tuesday during the governor’s 2019 budget presentation ceremony inside the legislative chamber.
Mr Obasa accused the executive arm of keeping silent, in the wake of the disagreement between the lawmakers and them over budget matters, while a section of the media ”misinformed the public about the lawmakers’ expenditure”.
“The fact of the matter is that the issue is between one arm of government and another. What was at stake then was nothing but the matter of appropriation,” said Mr Obasa (APC, Agege).
“Unfortunately, no one from the Executive has risen to refute the baseless allegations. Since no one has come up to address this, it is incumbent on us to come forward and debunk the allegations.
“As such, I use this medium to challenge the governor, the finance commissioner and the accountant general of the state to prove that we have been collecting N800 million per month since the onset of this administration.
“Thank God the governor is before us here today; so also, is the finance commissioner sitting in this hallowed chamber. I likewise challenge the ‘faceless group’ to prove that this Assembly has been collecting N800 million per month as alleged.”
The crisis between the two arms of government got to a head last week after the lawmakers said they would initiate impeachment proceedings against Mr Ambode over allegations of illegal budgetary spendings and gross misconduct.
Also, last week, a group, the Legislative Probity and Accountability asked the lawmakers to account for N2 billion they collected as running costs under Mr Obasa’s leadership.
However, on Sunday, an APC national leader, Bola Tinubu, announced that the matter between the two groups had been resolved following a meeting attended by top party leaders in the state.
Mr Obasa denied the earlier claims and also asked the leaders of the group to come forward and prove the allegations.
He, however, did not state how much the lawmakers spend as monthly running cost.
“It must be known that the monthly running cost of the Lagos State House of Assembly covers the entire expenditure of the House comprising the 40 elected legislators and the administration of over 700 staff.
“It includes sundry items such as travels, training (both local and overseas) office running and maintenance, vehicles, entertainment, publicity, security, protocols, logistics and administrative costs among others.”
Mr Obasa urged the governor, who is not contesting for a second term, ”to use his remaining days to attend to urgent needs of Lagosians, especially by addressing the inner roads of the state as well as environmental issues”.
“We should be cognizant of the fact that the essence of democratic governance is that people remain the object of development,” he said.
“With the remaining parts of this tenure of ours, more can still be done to ease socio-economic problems, particularly on finishing all road projects and rehabilitation, provision of housing, making sure that our environment is clean and poverty alleviation programmes embarked upon, before the end of this administration.”
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