Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Niger State has told the All Progressive Congress (APC) state government led by Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello to account for the local government funds collected by the state in the last one year.
The PDP said apart from payment of local government staff salaries, no kobo has been released to any of the 25 local government areas in the state since May 2015 for capital project execution.
The new chairman of the party in the state, Tanko Beji, who threw the challenge while exchanging views with journalists in Minna yesterday, lamented that activities had been grounded in the local government areas because the chairmen and their councillors do not have money to work.
“We want to know how much has accrued to the local government areas since the APC government came into office, how they spent the money, and under what law was the money spent.”
Beji also told Bello that he does not have the constitutional powers to abrogate the state local government joint account as he planned to do from the end of this month.
Beji who incidentally is a legal practitioner, said the state local government joint account is a creation of the constitution citing section 162 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, saying that no executive governor could by fiat abrogate the law.
“We are watching, at the appropriate time we will take necessary action to protect the law.”
The PDP chairman also challenged the APC governor to tell the whole world why he has refused to assent to the 2016 Appropriation Bill passed by the House of Assembly over three months ago and why he has been spending money without the bill being assented to.
“This is a serious unconstitutional breach,” he declared, saying that “we will not watch the constitution being violated with impunity.”
The PDP chairman also said he would soon raise a petition to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on the alleged refusal to swear in special advisers appointed by Bello because their being in office meant that they did not declare their assets as provided for by the law which in itself is an unconstitutional act.
The House of Assembly approved 15 Special Advisers for the governor but only seven had been appointed and commenced work.