Lagos State House of Assembly members has begun impeachment proceedings against the stage Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, as they summoned him to appear before the house within one week over the 2019 budget, which has caused disagreement between the two arms of government.
The Assembly is accusing the governor of gross misconduct and abuse of office by presenting the budget and spending it when it had not been passed.
Governor Ambode had sent the 2019 budget to the House in December against the tradition of laying the budget before the House.
The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, on Monday told lawmakers it was important to give the governor a fair hearing over the 2019 budget. He said:
“There have been infractions and it is obvious that the attorney-general, finance commissioner and commissioner for budget and economic planning have failed to advise the governor.
“We should let the people know that a budget that has yet to be approved is being spent, which is why we could not attend to the governor on the budget on Monday, January 21.
“We must let him come to explain what happened. You cannot commence expenditure without passing the budget. We call on the governor to come within a week to explain himself or we can start gathering signatures for impeachment.”
The lawmakers had reacted to a report presented by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who is the chairman of a committee set up to look into the issues surrounding the 2019 budget.
Members of the committee are Moshood Oshun, Gbolahan Yishawu, Dayo Saka-Fafunmi and Abiodun Tobun.
Eshinlokun-Sanni stated that the budget and economic planning commissioner, Segun Banjo, said no money had been spent for the year.
He added that the accountant-general told the committee that warrant had been issued that they could spend up to 20 percent of the preceding budget before the approval of the budget for the New Year.
“We asked them to bring out the law that allows them to spend up to 20 percent of the budget of the preceding year. They could not bring out such a law.”
It was then agreed that a list will be drawn and forwarded to the governor, who is expected to give answers within a stipulated period.
One of those who spoke and Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade (APC), Ikorodu constituency 1, said the House would follow the rules in the process.
Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of the House, asked the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, if there was any message from the governor, but he replied that there was none.
At the session, Mr. Moshood Oshun, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, laid the report of the public hearing on a bill for a law to amend the Lagos State Audit Law handled by his committee.
A bill for a law to amend the Lagos State High Court Law Cap H5 was read for the third time and passed by the House.
Obasa directed the clerk of the House to forward a clean copy of the bill to Ambode for assent.
The House rose and adjourned at 4:57 pm until January 28 and February 4.