Lawmakers of the Peoples Democratic Party extraction in the Imo State House of Assembly have kicked against the headship of the Public Accounts Committee of the House.
The lawmakers accused the assembly of acting in violation of the rules of the state legislature.
The Nation learned that such committee is usually headed by a member from the minority party.
This is not the case in the Imo State House of Assembly as the Committee is chaired by a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, a clear violation of laid down rules of the House.
The Public Accounts Committee is however saddled with the task of probing N19.63b Local Government funds which the Uzodinma led APC government alleged was mismanaged by the outgone PDP administration of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha.
Lawmakers of PDP extraction in a memo to the Speaker of the House, Chiji Collins, strongly kicked against the error, pointing out that by the convention in Nigeria and worldwide, “the headship of the public accounts commitee is reserved for the minority party”
The memo was jointly signed by Hon. Anyadike Nwosu, Minority leader/Member representing Ezinihitte State Constituency, Mr. Frank Ugboma, Deputy Minority leader/member, representing Oguta State Constituency, Hon. Solomon Anukam, Minority whip/member representing Owerri municipal state Constituency and Hon. Phillip Ejiogu, Deputy Minority whip/member Owerri North State Constituency, Hon. Okey Onyekanma, former Deputy Speaker/Member, representing Mbaitoli state Constituency, and Hon. Tochi Okereke, former Chief Whip and member representing Ngor Okpala State Constituency.
The opposition lawmakers said it is regrettable that the Imo State House of Assembly is yet to comply with such parliamentary convention.
The memo dated 4th May, 2020 titled, ‘Headship/membership of the Public Accounts committee of the Imo State House of Assembly’, reads:
“I wish to draw your attention to the membership of the Public Accounts committee of the Imo State House of Assembly as it is presently constituted.
“Mr Speaker, it is important to inform you that by the convention in Nigeria and worldwide; the Headship of the public accounts committee is reserved for the minority party
“This is to ensure consolidation of democratic practices and accountability in administration and running of the government. It is regrettable that Imo State is yet to comply with this parliamentary convention
“Mr Speaker sir, I implore you to perceive this from the point of universal practice and the enhancement of legislative Democracy and toe the line of wisdom by appointing a member of the Minority party as Chairman of the public Accounts committee as Imo State cannot be an exception
“Mr. Speaker sir again, it is of importance to note that we are not against the Public Accounts committee discharging it’s functions, but I am worried that we did not comply essentially to our rules particularly Order XVIII Rule 113 (6) (A) (B) (C) and (D) which stipulates that reports to be considered must be laid before the House of Assembly
“In the ongoing investigation, we did not comply with our rules. I therefore urge you to use your good office as the Chief interpreter of our rules to do justice by appointing the Minority leader as Chairman of PAC and redirect for the compliance to our rules” the memo concluded.
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