By Gbenga Akanmu
The Lagos State House of Assembly has set up a five-man committee toÂ probe alleged illegal deductions from the state and local government joint account, just as it set out guidelines to reposition local governments for optimum performance.
The committee was established after a matter of urgent public importance raised by chairman of the House Committee on Public Account (Local), Mudashiru Obasa.
He said during the course of their oversight function, the committee discovered that there were illegal deductions from the joint account.
Obasa said the discovery made the committee toÂ summon the Auditor-General of Local Government and Accountant-General and Commissioner for Local Government.
â€œWe extended invitation to the office of Auditor-General of Local Government and Accountant-General and Commissioner for Local Government. We have been on this for quite sometime and we have had almost three meetings, and at the meeting, we agreed that the Accountant-General should supply us with important documents concerning the accurate figures that have been deducted. Up till this moment, we are yet to receive such documents.
â€œIn addition to that, there was a law passed by this House on the State Local Government Joint Accounts Allocation Committee. We, however, discovered that the committee has been operating in total disregard to the law and it is essential that we decide from this chamber to strengthen our local governments to enhance development in our state.
â€œBecause of this, I will want this House to invite the Accountant-General, Commissioner for Local Government and Auditor-General, Local Government, to explain why they have refused to supply the committee with the relevant document,â€ he said.
Also speaking, Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Adeola Olamilekan, told the House that the issue of disregard to the laws passed by the House did not just start with the present committee.
Announcing the committee to be chaired by Adeyeye and including Adewale Babatunde, Obasa, Olowo and Risikat Adegeye, Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji said the Committee should go beyond just looking into the issue of illegal deductions and also looked at ways to empower and restructure local governments in the state to work towards even development of the various council.
They are to liaise with the state Independent Electoral Commission to find out what they are doing to hold the local government election next year, because according to him, the House will not be ready to approve any care- taker committee for the councils when preparation for the next election can begin in earnest to avoid such development.