The impeached speaker of Ondo state House of Assembly, Bamidele Oleyelogun, has been accused of trying to approve an illegal budget for the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, in which members of the house as termed as “unconstitutional”.
In a press statement signed by the Majority Leader of the house, Olugbenga Araoyinbo and made available to dailypost, 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.