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July 9, 2024

Reps summon Minister, council chairmen over refusal to appear

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… threaten to withhold appropriation of FCT Ministry six area councils

By Gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja

The House Committee on FCT Area Councils and Ancillary Matters has asked the FCT minister of state and the Six area councils Chairmen to appear before the Committee on Tuesday 16th July.

The Committee also threatened to withhold appropriation to the Ministry and the six area councils.

The resolution followed the refusal of the Chairmen of Area Councils to appear before the House Committee on FCT Area Councils and Ancillary Matters.

Members of the committee were furious about the absence and called on the government to withhold state allocations by running a Transition Implementation Committee (TIC).

The House also urged the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation Fiscal Commission(RMAFC) to create a special account into which allocations due to
local governments run by unelected officials would be paid

They noted that the number of states acting with impunity and in utter disregard to the constitution continued to increase as not less than 21 state governors are currently operating local government councils with caretaker committees.

According to the committee, the dissolution of democratically elected councils is in direct contravention of section 7 of the Nigerian Constitution.

One of the committee members, Mr. Peter Uzokwe, said that it was a sign of disrespect for appointed officials to refuse to appear before the House of Representatives.

The Chairman of the House Committee on FCT Area Councils and Ancillary Matters, Mr. Frederick Agbedi, pointed out that the failure to appear was unacceptable.

He however noted that a new date will be communicated to the Chairmen.

The committee members went in to an executive session.

The appearance was as a result of a resolution following the adoption of a motion of urgent public importance by two lawmakers Gaza Jonathan and Ademorin Kuye on the floor of the House.