According to reports, the Ekiti state government has rejected the Senate’s move to probe Federal Government’s bailout funds given to the state and others.
It said that such a probe was unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said the greatest birthday gift he wanted the people of the state to give him was total support for him to do more for the state and her people.
Speaking in Ado-Ekiti yesterday at a thanksgiving service to mark his 56th birthday, the governor said he needed the support for him to leave the state better than he met it.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu Adelusi, he quoted the governor as saying that he had good intentions to take the state to an enviable height.
Sequel to a resolution of the Senate in which it directed its Committee on State and Local Government Administration to investigate the granting and use of bailout funds, the panel had sent letters to some governors to inform them of its pending mission.
The state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Owoseni Ajayi, in a reply to the letter, declared the mission as unlawful.
He said: “We respectfully wish to observe that we are constrained as a state government, bound by the principles of federalism and the rule of law, to accede to your proposal to exercise oversight powers over the disbursement of the bailout fund granted to Ekiti State by the Federal Government because it is legally and constitutionally outside the powers of the Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The commissioner said that the probe of the bailout funds was against the clear provision of sections 121,122,123, 124, 125 and 128 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
He pointed out also that the constitution vested the powers of oversight functions in respect of states’ finances exclusively in the respective Houses of Assembly.
According to him: “Section 125 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides for the submission of financial statements and yearly accounts of a state to the House of Assembly of the state and the House shall cause the report to be considered by a committee of the House responsible for public accounts.
“In the same vein, Section 128 of the 1999 Constitution specifically confers on the state House of Assembly the powers to conduct investigation into the accounts of the state government.”