By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Edo State House of Assembly on have called on the Minister of Finance, Accountant-General of the Federation, and the Chairman, Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission to suspend the monthly allocation to the 18 Local Government Councils in the state.
Festus Ebea led faction of the Assembly also called on the Independent Corrupt Practices and other elated Commission (ICPC) and other anti-graft agencies to lunch investigation into the financial activities of the State/Local government joint account.
The parliament had been factionalised following the suspension of four lawmakers on June 9 with Speaker Uyi Igbe also leading 14 other All Progressives Congress (APC) legislators.
The nine-member PDP faction resolution was sequel to a motion of urgent public importance by the member representing Etsako West State constituency I, Hon. Abdulrazaq Momoh, who drew the members attention to the refusal of the State Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Lucky James and council chairmen to furnish the parliament with receipt and expenditure of revenue allocations.
Momoh said the call has become expedient because, according to him, Section 129 of the 1999 constitution empowers the legislators to procure all evidence or summon any person living in Nigeria to come and give evidence.
According to him, “Local governments are being constantly short-changed as less than half of federal allocation only gets to them”.
Momoh therefore urged the Assembly to take necessary steps as part of its oversight function to stop what it described as rip off of Edo councils.
While seconding the motion, the Minority Whip of the Assembly, Hon. Kingsley Ehigiamusoe, said the legislators have a duty to procure evidence and summon any official, adding, “we must summon them by whatever means”.
“The Revenue and Fiscal Mobilization Commission should look into the statutory receipt so that the fraud of the ministry should be checked”, he stated.
With no objection to the motion, acting Speaker of the faction directed that clean copies of the resolution should be sent to Governor Adams Oshiomhole, the anti-graft agencies, the ministry of finance and other relevant federal government agencies.