3rd July, 2012
By Eromosele Ebhomele
The Lagos State House of Assembly has stopped the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Adetokunbo Abiru, from paying any money as allocations in respect of Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) to the 20 Local Government Councils and the 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state, pending an investigation by the House concerning how the allocation is disbursed.
According to the House, the only funds that could be given to the councils throughout this period would be for payment of salaries for pensionable and non-pensionable staff.
Nineteen members of the House, in a motion they brought to the floor, asked the House to suspend such payment through JAAC as it had been discovered that it does not follow laid down rules.
The Leader of the House, Ajibayo Adeyeye, who addressed his colleagues on behalf of the 19 lawmakers in the motion titled Non Compliance with the Provisions of the Lagos State Joint Account Allocation Committee Law, 2003, cited parts of the 1999 Constitution including Section 162 (8) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, to back up their argument.
The Leader of the House also observed that the modalities for the distribution of funds to Local Government Councils were not streamlined with the Constitutional provisions and extant laws of the state. He, therefore, asked the House to halt further disbursement of funds till the issues are resolved.
The House in its resolution also called on the Accountant-General of the state to furnish it with the reports in respect of payments made to each Local Government Council in the state from year 2009 till date in compliance with Section 9 of JAAC Law 2003.
Addressing his colleagues on the issue, Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji showed them a petition he received from a group alleging several illegalities happening in the Local Government Councils in the state.
He, therefore, set up an eight-man ad-hoc committee to work on the motion and the petition.
Members of the committee include the Chief Whip of the House, Rasaq Balogun; Deputy Whip, Rotimi Abiru; Saka Fafunmi; Moshood Oshun; Mudashiru Obasa; Adebimpe Akinsola; Ramota Akinola-Hassan and Adeyeye as the Chairman of the Committee.
The committee is expected to report back to the House one week after its inauguration.