15 Nov 2016

You Don't Have Power to Probe How We Spent Bailout Money - Ekiti State Government Replies Senate

The Government of Ekiti State has faulted the decision of the Senate to probe into the expenditure of the bailout granted the state by the Federal Government.

This was contained in a letter sent to the Chairman, Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration, Senator Gumel Abdullahi, by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the state, Mr. Owoseni Ajayi.

In the letter dated November 11, 2016, and which was received by Abdullahi on November 14 as shown on the stamp of the recipient, Ajayi said expressed the state's appreciation and concern over how the bailout granted the state was utilized.

The letter read in part, “It is incontrovertible that the duty of oversight of government’s financial activities by the legislative arm in Nigeria is a constitutional matter and the diligent performance of this duty in a time like this, when our nation is in economic
recession, cannot be overemphasised.

“We therefore appreciate the intentions and aspirations of the National Assembly in the above regard, which, we have no doubt, are aimed at ensuring fiscal discipline, financial integrity, accountability and probity of government and its relevant agencies at all levels.

“However, we respectfully wish to observe that we are constrained, as a state government bound by the principles of federalism and the rule of law, to accede to your proposal to exercise oversight powers over the disbursement of the bailout granted to Ekiti State by the Federal Government because it is legally and constitutionally outside the powers of the Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“In this regard, we wish to draw your attention to the clear provisions of Sections 121, 122, 123, 124, 125 and 125 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which vests the powers of oversight functions in respect of states’ finances exclusively in the respective state Houses of Assembly.”

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