Lagos Assembly stops salaries of Sanwo-Olu’s appointees without its approval
The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, ordered the withdrawal of letters given to government appointees whose nominations should have been sent to the House for their screening and confirmation, but who took up the jobs without due process.
The House also ordered immediate halting of salaries and remunerations enjoyed by the affected government appointees pending their appearances before the House. The Assembly further summoned three top officials over the issue.
Those summoned include the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Accountant-General of the State, Dr. Abiodun Muritala, and the state’s Commissioner for Establishment, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle.
In a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ brought before the House by Hon. Noheem Adams, Deputy Majority Leader, the lawmakers lamented the increasing situation where supposed nominees of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu continued to work without being screened and confirmed by the House.
Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, who presided at the sitting, agreed with the lawmakers that appointments of that nature without recourse to the House amounted to infractions.
“I quite agree with all of you that the failure of such nominees to appear is an infraction or violation of the laws of this House, especially as it relates to the MDAs, most of which were established by the laws of this House,” Dr. Obasa said, adding that the laws of the House of Assembly have statutory provisions that nominees of the governor must appear for confirmation.
“It is becoming common and regular and if we fail to act now, it becomes a norm. I share your sentiments that there is a need for us to put a stop to this. I am aware of the development in the Audit Commission, I am aware of the one in the Law Reform Commission and now the Auditor-General and some others,” he said.
Raising the issue earlier, Hon. Adams cited Section 196, subsection 2; Section 198 and Section 126, subsection 3 which give backing to the House of Assembly in respect of nominations by the governor for appointments.
“Section 126, subsection 3 provides that except with the resolution of a State Assembly, no person shall act in the office of the Auditor-General for a state for a period exceeding six months.
“As the chairman, House committee on legislative compliance, I have observed that some appointments to boards and other agencies were not brought to this noble House. If this persists, the principle of separation of powers will be in jeopardy.
“For example, the Auditor-General was appointed on the September 22, 2022 and today is April 11, 2023,” Adams said adding that the Auditor-General’s appointment in acting capacity had exceeded what the laws stipulate.
Supporting Adams, Hon. Ademola Kasunmu said the stipulations of Section 198 should be strictly adhered to. He added that because such appointments are considered null and void, every remuneration that had gone out, should be returned to the coffers of the State.
Speaking on the same matter, Hon. Victor Akande observed that the situation happened in the judiciary where an appointment was done without recourse to the House and the due process.
Hon. Sa’ad Olumoh lamented that such appointments without regard for the House were becoming too many.
“Separation of power is a doctrine enshrined in the constitution. The executive has the right to nominate people and the House has the responsibility to either confirm or reject such nominations.
“It is not only in the office of the Auditor-General, but I don’t know in what capacity one can act beyond the time limit without recourse to the House,” he said while urging the House to look at the issue holistically so as to put an end to what could cause issues later.
Hon. Rotimi Olowo, who noted the difference between nomination and appointment, lamented: “Today, we have a lot of people parading themselves with many names without appearing before this House for clearance. It should not be a padi-padi thing. This is a constitutional matter and if we do not adhere, we would end up facing the wrought of the people.”
He said it was an infraction to have people who are not cleared by the House receiving salaries and “I am of the opinion that such money is supposed to be returned to the coffers.”
Hon. Desmond Elliot called on the House to act in a way to curtail any future occurrence while Hon. Femi Saheed suggested that “in line with the constitution, anyone acting outside the stipulated time must recourse to the House.”
He further suggested that the Head of Service be made to appear before the House to clear himself over the issue.
Daura honours Buhari with special Durbar (PHOTOS)
Less than 24 hours after he handed over the reins of power to Bola Tinubu, former president Muhammadu Buhari was hosted to a special durbar by a large crowd in Daura, his hometown.
There was plenty pomp, pageantry and celebratory gymnastics on display.
A durbar is a festival that normally holds during Eid el Kabir and Eid el Fitri celebrations.
It begins with prayers, followed by a parade of the emir and his entourage on horses.
Bashir Ahmed, Buhari’s former special assistant on digital media, described the event held on Tuesday as a “special Durbar celebration” hosted by the Emir of Daura in honour of the former president.
In pictures and videos shared on his Twitter page, sonorous traditional sounds permeate the air.
Men on horseback stir dust into the clouds, with energetic dance moves to go with it all.
“How to welcome your son after eight years serving the country as its commander-in-chief of the armed forces,” Ahmed wrote.
Why I fell out with Ibori and refused to accept his candidate as my successor – Okowa
The immediate past governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has addressed his fallout with his former boss and governor of the state, James Ibori.
Okowa and Ibori have been at loggerheads since the Delta Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary election in 2022.
Ibori had supported David Edevbie, a commissioner of finance in his administration, while Okowa threw his weight behind Sheriff Oborevwori, former speaker of the state house of assembly.
Oborevwori eventually won the primary and subsequently triumphed in the governorship election. He was sworn into office on Monday.
Okowa said Ibori’s insistence on backing Edevbie resulted in a disagreement between them
‘I WAS SURPRISED AND DECEIVED’
Speaking with newsmen on Sunday, Okowa opened up on why he opposed Ibori’s choice and resolved to pitch his tent with Oborevwori.
Okowa said Edevbie had tricked him into believing he would respect the Delta PDP zoning provision ahead of the governorship election in 2015.
The immediate past Delta governor said he shared his reservation about Edevbie with Ibori — but the latter was unmoved.
Okowa and Edevbie were commissioners in the Ibori administration.
“I don’t like to talk about it but obviously there’s no doubt that we didn’t work together,” Okowa said“We went into the primaries not agreeing on the same candidate, we talked about it but he(Ibori) did not want to shift ground on his candidate. That’s the truth and I did not agree with that candidate for basic reasons which I made clear enough to him and also to his own candidate.
“I did not hide it. Till tomorrow, I speak about it in truth not because I thought I was a god that needed to install somebody. David Edevbie is my friend. We were with the former governor in his tenure together as commissioners, but in 2014, when it became obvious that it was the turn of the Delta North — Delta Central and Delta South had had their turns — I heard that David was going to run and he was indicating interest.
“I went from Abuja with three of my friends to visit him in Lagos — and I said ‘David, please, it’s only fair, I know that there are so many people competing but I’m coming to you as a friend. It will not be fair if you run. Governor James Ibori has been there, Governor Uduaghan has been there, it’s obviously the turn of the Delta North; why don’t you allow us to have our space so that we can all be said to be part of the state? Thereafter, we can all work for you to become governor’.
“And at the end, he said ‘I will not run anymore, I will support you’. I thanked him and left back to Abuja.”
Okowa, who was a senator at the time, said Edevbie went against his word and was holding secret meetings with stakeholders, strategising on how to become governor.
“And then suddenly, next thing we heard was that they had endorsed David but this same David had committed himself to me,” he added.
“So we went into the race, a very tough race but God enabled me to win.”
‘EDEVBIE CAN’T ENJOY ZONING HE NEVER SUPPORTED’
Although Okowa appointed Edevbie as a commissioner in his cabinet, he said the latter still proceeded with his plans on how to become the next governor.
“In the second year, I started hearing that he was holding meetings in Lagos and other places where they were already prepping him to be governor without anybody discussing with me,” Okowa said.
The PDP vice-presidential candidate noted that although the zoning rules meant the governorship seat, in 2023, would go to Delta Central — Edevbie’s zone — he was adamant that the former commissioner would not be a beneficiary.
“In the first instance, he did not want the zoning to Delta North, so if the zoning was going to continue, he’s my friend but he shouldn’t be the one to benefit from the zoning he did not want,” Okowa said.
“I’m careful in what I do so it will be difficult for me to support someone outside Delta Central but my only mindset is that somebody who did not believe in the zoning cannot be the one to benefit from it and I made it clear to the former governor.”
Okowa said Ibori met with him a few days before the primary election to reach a compromise on a fresh candidate — but he noted that it was too little, too late.
“I told him it would be difficult to withdraw support from my candidate. I don’t do things like that,” Okowa said.
Oborevwori defeated Ovie Omo-Agege, the APC candidate and former deputy speaker of the house of representatives, to clinch the governorship seat.
Sanwo-Olu kicks off second term with optimism for better Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, officially commenced his second term in office following the completion of his swearing-in by the state’s Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba.
Sanwo-Olu was optimistic that the best days of the state and its inhabitants lie ahead.
The governor, who noted that his administration had set the stage for transformative change, as well as confronted significant challenges, said: “We never faltered. Our challenges became stepping-stones; and our trials the foundation of our resilience.
“As we continue to write the story of Lagos State, let us embrace the spirit of inclusiveness and harmonious coexistence, for it is this spirit that makes us truly ‘Eko’.
“I can boldly say that we have had four fulfilling years. We have learnt a lot, we have made some mistakes, and we have also implemented many transformational policies and programmes.
“We assure you that the progress we have made will not be reversed. We will remain steadfast in our mission to make Lagos State a model of good governance, a beacon of hope and opportunity for all. Our path is clear, and our resolve is unshakeable.
“As we venture into this second term, I want to assure you that the spirit of our endeavours remains unfaltering. We will continue to tackle our challenges head-on and celebrate our successes. We will harness the potential of our greatest resource – our people.
“We stand on the threshold of a new era. Our vision for Lagos is one that sees no bounds. It is a vision of a city where dreams take flight, where every citizen is a part of our growth story, and where the global community looks towards us with respect and admiration.”
He, therefore, pledged to continue to build a Lagos that is not only a commercial nerve centre but also a hub for innovation, culture and sustainable development.
Sanwo-Olu, who maintained that he and his team would welcome constructive criticism, noted that democracy thrives on differences of opinion and belief, therefore he would strive to respect the opinions of others even as he expects the same from them.
“We will strive to communicate effectively and carry you along every step of the way.
“Let me also say that the work ahead is not for government alone. It is not the exclusive responsibility of public servants, or the civil service. We all share the responsibility of our state’s future.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Head of Service, Akeem Muri-Okunola, said that the re-election of Sanwo-Olu was a testimony of the works done under the T.H.E.M.E.S. agenda.
He noted that the governor was able to delete despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the EndSARs crisis, adding that the governor showed courage and tenacity during these periods.
He also noted that the success recorded at the polls showed that Sanwo-Olu’s efforts did not go unnoticed by the electorate. This is aside his efforts attracted international accolades.
Muri-Okunola asked that the residents of the state should commit the leadership of Lagos to prayer for more success in the next four years. At the ceremony held at the Tafawa Balewa Square were family members of the governor and his duputy, former cabinet members, serving and former permanent secretaries, party leaders and council chairmen.
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