8th September, 2011
Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have expressed their support for the Speaker, Adeyemi Ikuforiji over hisÂ investigationÂ by at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The lawmakers this afternoon at a press conference declared that Ikuforriji remains the Speaker despite being investigated by the EFCC.
They also called on the anti-graft agency to mind the kind of petitions they act on as those who wrote the petition of alleged perjury and financial recklessness against Ikuforiji are faceless.
Speaking on their support for the Speaker, Deptuy Speaker of the House, Hon. Kolawole Taiwo who led the other lawmakers, explained that the petitioners had no address and could not substantiate their claims.
He declared that the allegations against the Speaker were all false as the House had taken time to investigate the alleged ex-convict saga against him and had discovered that the Speaker had no case to answer.
Though he agreed that the House gets N500 million, he said the running cost of the House was not meant for the lawmakers alone as it also includes training, seminars and payment of over 600 staff.
He sad there was no way the House would suspend Ikuforiji as the investigations are still on-going.
Kolawole maintained that the House fully supports all efforts of the EFCC and other anti-graft bodies to rid the country of the menace of corruption that has been the greatest obstacle against the countryâ€™s development.
â€œHowever, in discharging its duties, it is also important for the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies to be wary of mischievous elements and shadowy groups who may be pursuing sinister agendas to tarnish innocent people’s reputations for partisan ends.
â€œTheir allegations against the Speaker are so laughable and ridiculous that they could not have emanated from serious minds. We believe that the problem of corruption is so pervasive in the country that the anti-graft agencies must be circumspect about the quality of allegations that they expend their scarce time and resources on.
â€œThe House became self-accounting in April 2010 and had not received up to N7 billion at the time of the petition. It is ridiculous for anybody to believe that the Speaker simply collects and personally expends the N500 million monthly Running Cost of the House as he pleases.
â€œThe monthly Running Cost covers the entire expenditure of the House comprising the elected legislators and the bureaucracy of over 600 staff. It includes sundry items such as travels, trainings (both local and overseas) office running and maintenance, vehicles, entertainment, publicity, protocols, logistics and administrative costs among others,â€ Kolawole said.
By Eromosele Ebhomele