Opinion: How Three Principal Officers of Kogi Assembly Approved N10b Loan for Gov. Bello Without Due Process


Fact have begins to emerged on how three principal officers of Kogi State House of Assembly approved the controversial Ten Billion naira loan request for Governor Yahaya Bello without following the due process.

It could be recalled that Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state in an interview with state house correspondents said he borrowed N10 billion from unnamed source which he added to the Paris club fund before he could pay workers salary. We reliable gathered that Gov. Bello in conjunction with three principal officers of the State House of Assembly got approval for over N10 billion supplementary budget sent by Governor Yahaya Bello to the House on the 31st of July 2017 without the knowledge of other honourable members of the house.

The Governor, you’ll recall sent a letter on the 31st of July, 2017 to the State Assembly seeking approval for a proposed supplementary budget of N11 billion for the 2017 fiscal year.

The Governor, in the request letter, said the supplementary budget would take care of “certain areas of economic development that were not previously captured in the approved budget”. He added that when approved it would enable the administration continue in executing its projects and programmes.

The former Speaker, Rt. Hon. Ahmed Imam, after reading the letter before his colleagues directed the then Majority Leader of the House, Mathew Kolawole (who is now the Speaker) to slate it on the order paper for consideration at the next legislative day.

Speaker Imam was forced to direct the Majority Leader to slate it for business of the next day because of the opposition by over 99% of the honourable members who accused the Governor of reckless spending.

Governor Bello had earlier in the year signed a N174,851,544.523 billion appropriation bill into law after it was approved by the state assembly.

After the resignation of Rt Hon. Ahmed Imam on August 2, 2017, it was alleged that three principal officers sat and approved the request of Governor Bello to borrow over N10 billion without the approval of the House.

This ‘padding’ which was scripted by the G3 has since divided the House as sources close to the House confirmed to us that over N 200million exchanged hands between the G3 and the executive.

The questions Kogites are asking now is: can three lawmakers approve supplementary budget without consent of other honourable members?

– Austin Usman Okai

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