Fresh facts have emerged on how 14 lawmakers on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), approved N10bn supplementary budget for outgoing Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, at what is believed to be a ‘secret sitting’ on Thursday.
DAILY POST observed that the PDP lawmakers considered and approved the supplementary budget despite the warning by the incoming governor, Kayode Fayemi and members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state.
The PDP lawmakers, led by Speaker Kola Oluwawole, arrived the Assembly complex at 12.05 pm on Thursday and sat for about one hour inside the hallowed chambers before they passed the controversial supplementary appropriation bill into law.
But the All Progressives Congress (APC) Assembly caucus has rejected the passage of the supplementary budget with about a month to Fayose’s exit from power.
The APC lawmakers, led by the Minority Leader, Gboyega Aribisogan (Ikole 1), described the action as a “ploy by Fayose to legitimize fraud which will be resisted through legal and constitutional means.”
Journalists were barred from covering the sitting, which was held behind closed-doors.
The PDP lawmakers were joined by the Clerk, Mr. Tola Esan and two legislative officers in conducting the ‘secret’ sitting.
The PDP lawmakers who were part of the closed-door session included: Oluwawole, Sina Animasaun, Samuel Omotoso, Samuel Jeje, Tope Fasanmi, Dayo Akinleye and Wale Onigiobi.
The rest were: Dare Pelemo, Cecilia Dada, Musa Arogundade, Sanya Aladeyelu, Olayode Omotoso, Dele Fajemilehin, and Olanrewaju Olayanju.
Reacting to the development, Aribisogan said: “The APC lawmakers and some members are not in support of the bill because it has been discovered that the outgoing governor wanted to use the House to legitimise fraud.
“The proposed Appropriation Bill is the handiwork of Governor Fayose and his cronies to cover up massive fraud in some Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs).
“The Appropriation Bill is not meant to improve the lives of our people in the state but to cover up some unapproved spending of the Governor. It is a fraudulent bill to cover fraudulent spending. That’s why the governor wanted the bill to be passed without proper scrutiny.
“The Appropriation Committee did not sit on the Bill. The Bill was backdated to August 30 to give an impression that the Appropriation Committee had since been deliberating on the Bill.
“The Speaker, Oluwawole was given the Bill last Friday when he was summoned to the Governor’s Lodge. As usual, he was given a marching order to call Hon Jeje Samuel, the Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, to make a public statement on the Revised Budget.
“The Progressives in the House” are now the majority. We have met. We have resolved to boycott sittings on the dubious budget. We learnt they want to reopen the Assembly for one hour to pass the budget. We are waiting and watching.
“It is ridiculous to hear that a government that has less than 32 days wants to spend 10 billion Naira. The governor is yet to tell us how he had managed the finances of this state.
“We have not been told the position of the state IGR, but the executive wanted us to pass a budget. We shall resist this latest attempt by Fayose to further plunge Ekiti state into financial mess.”