ByÂ Anayo Okoli
Umuahia â€” ABIA State House of Assembly says it had not approved any increase in the security vote of Governor Theodore Orji.
According to the House, though there was a proposal of N8billion annually from the Government House,Â for the Governorâ€™s security vote, the House is yet to discuss the budget let alone pass the proposal.
According to the Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Chinedum Elechi, the budget proposal is still with the Committee on Appropriation, which has been screening the proposal and inviting different ministries and departments to defend their proposal.
Elechi, also the chairman, House Committee on Information, who briefed journalists, said the explanation became necessary following rumours that the House had approved the sum of N750 million monthly for the Governor as security vote.
The proposal, Elechi explained represent an increase of about N113 million from the 2009 approval. 2009 approval according the Deputy Speaker was about N6.6 billion.
Elechi said that even if the House eventually passes the proposal as it is, it will be about N667million.
A political pressure group, Abia Elders Forum had alleged that Governor Orji plans to raise his monthlyÂ security vote from N450 million to N700million through the state House of Assembly.
â€œAt N700 millionÂ per month, it means the Governor would be pocketing,Â princely N8.4 billion per annum as security vote for which he is not accountable to anyone.
â€œIt was scandalous enough that he has been taking out N400 million per month since he came into office as security vote.Â Raising the vote to N700 million at a time the stateâ€™s economy has completely collapsed under the weight of (alleged) dubious debts incurred since June 2007 and sustained and systematic looting of the treasury indicates a tragic intention to destroy the stateâ€™s economic base,â€ the group lamented.
On the plans by the government to appoint transition committee to run the councils after the dissolution of the elected executives in the 17 councils of the state following the expiration of their tenure, the Deputy Speaker said that there was nothing wrong with it, as the law provided for it.