Niger Assembly Begins Probe of Governor Bello

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Laleye Dipo in Minna

The Niger State House of Assembly has commenced a discrete investigation into management of the finances of the state since Governor Abubakar Sani Bello came into office in May 2015.

The assembly in commencing the probe, has summoned both the Commissioner for Finance and his Budget and Planning counterpart to explain at plenary how the funds that accrued to the state from October last year to date were spent.

The legislators issued the summons in a resolution after passing 10 motions within 50 minutes all geared towards looking at the books of accounts of the state.

The assembly which resumed from the Eid-el-Fitri, break on Monday, debated the address by the Speaker, Alhaji Ahmed Marafa, in which he X-rayed developments in the state especially the strike by civil servants.

All those that contributed to the debate on the Speaker’s address, said the governor had been operating like a military man and was violating the provisions of the constitution by his actions.
The lawmakers argued that all the motions and bills passed by the assembly had been ignored by the governor, an indication that “he does not want to work with us.”

Addressing a press conference after plenary, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Alhaji Shuaibu Liman, said the motions passed arose from the welcome speech of the Speaker, “concerning issues of public interest.”

He said the governor had kept the assembly in ‘the dark’ on how public funds were being utilised while contracts were awarded outside budgetary provisions, adding that the finance commissioner is expected to appear on July 19 of this month to give detailed explanation on how much money accrued from statutory allocations and how it was spent.

His counterpart in the Budget and Planning Ministry, he said, would appear on July 20, 2016 to give account of capital receipts and other monies that accrued to the state outside statutory allocations.