Members of the Lagos House of Assembly have been challenged to account for the N28. 8 billion they have collected as running cost under the Mudashiru Obasa leadership.
A civil society organisation, Legislative Probity and Accountability, threw the challenge to the lawmakers in a statement signed by its Chairman, Olu Fajana, yesterday.
The group urged the House leadership to explain how the funds collected from the executive were spent.
“We have watched with keen interest the latest move by the Lagos State House of Assembly to impeach Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, on accounts of alleged gross misconduct and infractions based on the 2018 and proposed 2019 budgets.
“While we will refrain from dabbling into the politics of this misadventure, we demand that the Lagos Assembly lawmakers come to equity with clean hands.
“It is not our duty to ask the lawmakers not to probe governor Ambode; if he has committed any infraction. We daresay that the Mudashiru Obasa leadership has been collecting N9. 6 billion each year and has, so far, pocketed N28. 8 billion as running cost; out of which members have been paid only N2. 4 billion in three years.
“Where did the remaining over N26. 4 billion disappear to? This question the Lagos House of Assembly must answer and fully account for this taxpayers’ fund; before going ahead with their impeachment of the Ambode agenda.
“It is alarming that the House collects N800 million, monthly, as running cost, out of which each of the 40 members collects N2 million.
“This huge sum amounts to N9.6 billion annually and, in three years, the Obasa leadership has taken N28.8 billion from taxpayers!
“It is worrisome that the state legislature is busy phishing for grounds to impeach the governor; four months to the end of his four-year tenure.
“In this regard, we note the frantic attempts by the governor’s adversaries to hang on his neck accusation that he has been funding the campaign of opposition governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, having failed to find any evidence that he sponsored thugs who disrupted the APC governorship campaign flag-off in Ikeja, few weeks ago.
“As a legislative probity and accountability non-governmental organisation, we ar demand that the Lagos House of Assembly should, in the next five days, account for how the N28.8 billion so far collected as running cost, by the Obasa-led House, was expended.
“If they fail, we shall mobilise Nigerians of likeminds and legally compel the Assembly to do the needful,” Fajana said.