Impeached Ondo Speaker set to approve ‘illegal’ budget for Gov. Akeredolu – Majority Leader alleges

Members of the Ondo State House of Assembly, who were involved in the
impeachment of the former speaker of the house and his deputy, have
cried out over a purported plan by erstwhile speaker, Bamidele
Oleyelogun to pass what they described as "unconstitutional"
re-ordered budget today, Thursday.

In a press statement signed by the Majority Leader of the house,
Olugbenga Araoyinbo and made available to DAILY POST, the group of
lawmakers, numbering 18, which had last Friday, impeached the
principal officers of the house, accused the Governor of plotting to
shortchanged the state through the re-ordered budget.

The statement issued on Thursday also indicated that the re-ordered
budget, which was designed to allegedly cover up some shady dealings
of the Gov Akeredolu administration, was one of the basis for
impeaching the erstwhile speaker, Oleyelogun, and his deputy, Iroju
Ogundeji.

The statement reads, "It has come to our attention that the impeached
speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly will be passing what is
unconstitutionally known as a Re-Ordered Budget today.

"We wish to state that the request for the passage of this Bill is one
of the major reasons why we chose to remove and suspend the former
leadership of the House on Friday, 9th November, 2018.

"Rt Hon Oleyeloogun had informed us that the Governor was desirous of
passing the bill into law as quickly as possible under a procedure
unknown to our Standing Rules, indeed, unknown to any known Law of our
State or Nigeria.

"By this Bill, the Government seeks to cover the many shady and
unappropriated approvals and spendings which are in excess of what is
authorized by the Budget.

"In the instant case, there are so many cases of moving funds from one
head of expenditure to fund another head to the detriment of the
expectations of our dear people of Ondo State and there are so many
cases of unjustified spendings particularly under some ministries that
are under the purview of persons who are dear to the heart of the
Governor.

"There are many curious and inexplicable expenditures particularly
under the Govt House and Protocols while important heads of
expenditure specifically designed to ameliorate one hardship or the
other for our people would have their allotted funds moved into heads
that are only important to Mr Governor and his hangers- on."

According Araoyinbo, the bill calls for questioning particularly since
it was not subjected to the known rules of the house as well as
constitutional provision as regards financial bills.

He further alleged that the Governor, who is working with the
impeached speaker, had on many occasions tried to induced them in
order to have his way with what he described as "inhumane" bill.

"Oleyeloogun acting in cahoots with the Governor and some other House
leaders insisted that we could not ask for the Year's Budget
Performance and could definitely not hold a Public Hearing even to
enquire from affected ministries why they chose to either overspend or
the Budget or Finance Commissioners why they condoned so much
illegality by allowing virements ab initio.

"We were informed that the Governor would rather simply give us some
hush money while they would employ what they called "Oku Oru" system
by which they would just generate some papers to appear as if the bill
had gone through a normal process. We refused and demanded that the
right thing must be done.

"We have been made to know that the Governor has compelled the Staff
of the House of Assembly in spite of the present danger his action of
calling thugs into the House has placed their lives in to sit with the
impeached speaker and his fellow companions ( who do not form a
quorum) on the Highway to Infamy and pass this illegal contraption of
a bill into Law!

"We want the general public to know that a bill of such importance was
moved from the First to the Second Readings and committed to the
Committee in one single sitting on Monday and is ready to be passed
into Law only three days later! How thorough could they have been?"

Araoyinbo also urged investors willing to partner the state under the
Gov. Akeredolu-led government to be wary, alleging that the
administration lacks transparency.

"We wish to state that as unacceptable as this is, it is still a tad
better than the earlier proposed "Oku Oru" system developed and
perfected by the Leadership of Oleyeloogun whereby bills are passed,
resolutions are given clandestinely for the use of Mr Governor.

"Please note that our law provides that financial bills shall be
passed by only two thirds majority of members of the House. Any
financial bill that does not enjoy this consent must of necessity be
null and void.

"Let the whole world know and indeed every investor who brings their
money into this cesspool being manned and supervised by the Governor
of Ondo State, Gov Oluwarotimi Akeredolu know that they do so at their
own risk," the statement read.
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