The Ekiti House of Assembly has approved the N10 billion supplementary budget sent to it by Gov. Ayo Fayose, despite concerns by the governor-elect Kayode Fayemi.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the budget was passed at plenary on Thursday by a unanimous decision of the 14 members who were in attendance.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Information , Dr Samuel Omotosho, said the budget was to capture unforeseen expenses of government.
He said the bill went through first and second readings as well as committee review before its passage.
Omotosho denied speculations that the budget was to defraud the state, alleging that the governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, also did the same a month before he left office during his first term.
But the All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus in the assembly has rejected the passage of the supplementary budget.
The APC lawmakers led by the Minority Leader, Gboyega Aribisogan, described the action as a “ploy’’ by the governor to legitimise fraud.
“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 Gov. 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.
“The Appropriation Committee did not sit on the bill. The bill was backdated to Aug. 30 to give an impression that the Appropriation Committee had since been deliberating on the bill,’’ he said.
Governor-elect Kayode Fayemi expressed concern over the ‘hush-hush’ budget on Wednesday.
He urged the Fayose regime to refrain from actions capable of plunging the state into further financial crisis through irregular and unconstitutional means.
The governor-elect, in a statement issued by the Media Director of his campaign organisation, Mr Wole Olujujobi, said the consequences of illegal appropriation of public funds would be very grave for individuals who participated in any illegal act to defraud the state.
Fayemi counselled ministry officials and Assembly members against being used for illegal appropriation of public funds.
He warned that participants in such illegal acts would be called upon to account for their actions when the new administration takes effect on Oct. 16.
Fayemi queried the rationale for the N10 billion supplementary budget barely a month to the handover date.
“The media report alleging that Fayose coerced the Ministry of Budget officials to make a demand backdated to Aug. 23, 2018 for a supplementary budget of N10billion a few days to the end of his administration is fraudulent and not in the interest of the state
“The governor’s covering note also backdated to Aug. 30, 2018 for the legitimacy of such request was equally done with fraudulent intention
” It is worrisome that the alleged supplementary budget was presented to the Assembly Clerk for immediate approval without presenting it to Assembly members at the plenary to go through all parliamentary procedures in budget processing.
“The latest development today, after the plot leaked on this fraudulent conduct, is that the budget is now before the House for a hush-hush debate for immediate approval,” he said.