May 31, 2023

Lagos Assembly stops salaries of unapproved appointees of Sanwo-Olu

Lagos Assembly stops salaries of unapproved appointees of Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Tuesday condemned the unapproved appointments made by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The legislature ordered the immediate withdrawal of letters given to officeholders whose nominations should have been scrutinised.

The lawmakers decried how several appointees assumed office without due process which requires screening and confirmation.

The House subsequently ordered the stoppage of salaries and remunerations enjoyed by the affected officials pending their appearances.

Three officials, Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, the Accountant-General, Abiodun Muritala, and Commissioner for Establishment, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, have been summoned concerning the issue.

Deputy Majority Leader, Noheem Adams, had cautioned the executive against undermining the powers of the state’s House of Assembly.
The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, agreed that certain designations without recourse to the House amounted to infractions.
Obasa said the failure of nominees to appear was a violation of the laws, especially as it relates to ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, established by the House.
“It is becoming regular and if we fail to act now, it becomes a norm. I share your sentiments that there is a need for us to put a stop to this,” he noted.

Earlier, Adams referred to Section 196 (2), Section 198 and Section 126 (3) which back the Assembly in respect of governor’s nominations.

Section 126 (3) says, with the resolution of the House, “no person shall act in the office of the Auditor-General for a state for a period exceeding six months.”

The Majority Leader said some appointments to boards and agencies were not brought to the House, warning that the principle of separation of powers may be in jeopardy.

“For example, the Auditor-General was appointed on September 22, 2022, and today is April 11, 2023,” Adams cited.

Ademola Kasunmu, also, insisted the stipulations of Section 198 should be strictly adhered to, adding that unapproved appointments are considered null and void.

“Separation of power is enshrined in the Constitution. The executive has the right to nominate people and the House has the responsibility to confirm or reject,” said Sa’ad Olumoh.

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