June 16, 2009

Lawmakers revoke Ika South 2009 budget

By Emma Amaize
AGBOR—LEGISLATORS of Ika South Local Government Council in Delta State, yesterday, invalidated the  council’s 2009 budget already assented to by the chairman, Hon. Hilary Ibude  and directed him to prepare a fresh budget estimate for the consideration of the House.

Their grouse at the sitting, which was presided over by the leader of the House, Hon Alexander Azeru, was that the budget estimate they approved and passed with provisions for constituency projects for the lawmakers in 2009 was not what the chairman signed and a similar thing happened in 2008 in which they had no projects to show for the people that elected them into office.

It was clear from the deliberations that the chairman and the entire councillors were at loggerheads, as the lawmakers also rejected the income and expenditure from October 2008 to March 2009 forwarded to them by the chairman, saying what it demanded from the executive was an income/expenditure for one year with bank statements, specifying allocations to the council within the period.

Two of the lawmakers, Hon. Joseph Enumah and Hon Isede Isioma informed the House that they received threat messages on their phone from unknown assassins, threatening to kill them and other legislators for spearheading the move for the council boss to present his income and expenditure to the House.

The threat message from GSM number, O7036902803, sent separately to the two lawmakers, which was read on the floor, specifically alerted the lawmakers of a plan to assassinate them.

Hon Onotor Sonny moved a motion, which was passed by the House, calling on the Inspector General of Police, Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone 5, Benin City, Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Divisional Police Officers, Agbor and Abavo Police Stations, State Security Service and other security agencies to probe the matter.

Hon Enumah, Hon Isede, Hon Sonny, Hon Okonta Martins and other members of the House who spoke on the matter expressed shock that some people were trying to intimidate the lawmakers for carrying out their constitutional duty and vowed not to be cowed in the performance of their duties.

Also yesterday, the House passed a vote of no confidence on the clerk of the House and immediately appointed an acting clerk, Mr. Ernest Ebomah in his stead for allegedly not communication the decisions of the House appropriately to the chairman.

The chairman, Hon Ibude was given 72 hours to present the council with a comprehensive income and expenditure profile, accompanied with a bank statement for the period in question while the House reconvenes tomorrow (Thursday).