From the CourtNewsPilot Law

Groups tackle Kwara Gov over illegal removal of Auditor General

*Call for his immediate reinstatement

By Jimoh Sulyman
Not less than 8 Civil society organizations have come out to tongue lash the Kwara state Government as well as the state house of Assembly over what they described as illegal removal of the beleaguered Auditor General of the State, Mr. Samuel Omoniyi Adeyeye.
The CSOs noted this in a statement jointly signed by ,Comrade Taiwo Otitolaye, Executive Director, Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA);Musa Aliyu, Media Advocacy and Technologies Center, (MATEC);Mallam Yinka Razzak, Fiscal Governance Advisor, Grassroots Development Monitoring and Advocacy Centre (GDMAC); Luqman M. Shaffii, Executive Director, Civil Right and Development Resource Centre (CIRDEV); Sofiyyah Alarape, Programme Manager, Centre for Women Development and Social Justice;Ife Odepidan,Common Cause Initiatives; Adebayo Moses, Development Action for Humanity (DAH) and Areola Joseph of Association of Democratic Citizens (ADC), on Sunday.
The consortium stressed that, the removal of the Auditor General revealed high level of victimization, a lip service to fiscal transparency and accountability; and an ignoble reputation of undermining the Rule of Law by the Kwara State government.
They suggested that Omoniyi became a subject of victimization in the hands of the state government and aided by the state house of Assembly after he uncovered a scandal of #6.2 billion that were not receipted nor accounted for by the government through its functionaries.
“Following the Audit query for expenditures to the sum of N6.2 billion that were not receipted, the state government orchestrated every Mechanisms to pull down the Auditor General for performing his professional job which he swore to abide by under oath of office.
“It went ahead to use the State Assembly members who are willing negative channels to purportedly remove the Auditor without any query in the history of his career; and without any avenue for fair hearing” the groups said.
They also alleged that the state House of Assembly has been reduced to mere ‘rubber-stamp’ rather than being allowed to play their constitutional function of checking and balancing the excesses of the Executives.
“The state Assembly has also continue to be a rubber stamp organ instead of playing her oversight functions of checks and balances.” they said.
The CSO also faulted the Public hearing held by the State legislative arm aimed at amending extant Audit laws, describing the process as only acting on already prepared script of the state Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
“The Public Hearing to the Amended state Audit Laws were exercises in brinkmanship; it only acted the prepared script of the AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman musical theatrical hide and seek game.
“Apart from a hurriedly organized Public Hearing, quality propositions from CSOs, private sector and the general public on the Bill were thrown to the waste bin. The so-called amendments were pegeon hole arrangements.
“By threading this path, the KWHA members have abandoned their responsibilities for which they were elected.” they stated.
The consortium also noted that they’re, “perturbed by seemingly nonchalant disposition and repulsive steps of the state government towards sustainability of reforms of its fiscal governance ecosystem evident by unjustified removal of State Auditor General directly linked to his damning findings itemized in the maiden Citizens Accountability Report.
They went further to regard the removal of the Auditor General despite Court injunction against it as an act recklessness and perversion of justice taken too far on the part of Governor AbdulRazaq.
“The auditor was removed against the injunction of the Industrial Court, a competent Court of jurisdictions sitting in Akure, the Ondo state capital that Kwara State government stay action from removing the state Auditor General pending the determination of his suit against this regime. This is recklessness and perversion of justice taken too far.
“To add colour to her charade, the government went to town with fanfare, and agog with fake news funded by public funds that the Industrial Court has overturned the injunction. There’s a contempt of Court hanging on these anti Rule of Law agents. We call on the Auditor to do the needful to disallow negative precedences.” the statement noted.
They also pointed that the Auditor General according to the constitution isn’t answerable to anyone, not even the Governor himself.
“Section 125 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (As Amended) states that “in the exercise of his function under the Constitution, the Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person”. they said.
The CSOs also noted that the state Governor is not being sincere his Government’s mantra of openness and accountability after he refused to sign into the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Process in Nigeria which many state governments have signed into
“It’s now an established fact that the state is equally afraid to be part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Process in Nigeria which many state governments have signed into. Her attitude and body language to the OGP is chameleonic in appearance and actions.
“The AbdulRahman regime has continuously camouflaged openness and accountability. If wishes were horses, the governor and his Political agents would hang white albatrosses around their necks in cacophony of deceit and as a mark of subjugated victory over fiscal transparency.” they said.
They however call for the immediate reinstatement of Auditor General according to the injunction of the industrial Court.
“We call for the reinstatement of Mr. Samuel Omoniyi Adeyeye in obedience to the injunction of the Industrial Court.” they said.

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