Tuesday, June 22, 2021 5:45 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt
A Port Harcourt based lawyer, Uchechukwu Uchendu, has asked the Rivers State House of Assembly to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against Governor Nyesom Wike for gross misconduct.
Mr Uchendu, in a petition dated June 10, accused Governor Wike of expending taxpayers’ money and public funds in form of goodwill and donations to neighbouring states and for events without getting approval from the State House of Assembly.
This, he said, was against constitution provision that no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund except approved by the House of Assembly.
In the petition, which was addressed to the office of the Speaker, the lawyer asked members of the House of Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against Governor Wike over alleged high spate of executive impunity and reckless disbursement of taxpayers’ money.
He said sections 120 and 121 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) barred Governor Wike from spending state funds outside the manner prescribed by the State House of Assembly.
“I have carefully read co-jointly sections 120, 121, 122, 123 and 124 of the said constitution and did not find anywhere where the apex law gave powers to the governor to lead his people into enormous poverty through unsolicited expenditures in the form of cash gifts, instead of wealth.”
Over the past few months, Governor Wike had made several donations, including N10 million each entertainers who performed during the special concert for Nigerian Grammy music award winner, Burnaboy.
He also donated N600 million governments of Akwa Ibom and promised to build multi-billion naira facilities for the Law school in Bayelsa.
In Sokoto, Wike donated N600 million to victims of market fire disaster.
He also recently donated N20m to the families of security operatives killed in Rivers.
The petitioner the doling out of unbudgeted funds by the Governor was unconstitutional and thus an arbitrary use of power.
Speaking on the matter, Uchendu said he wants to put the law to test.
“I am just a Citizen who wants accountability from my Governor on how the taxpayers’ funds were spent with appropriation by the Rivers State House Assembly. Let us put the law to test.”
Both Governor Wike and Speaker of Rivers House of Assembly are yet to react to the petition.
Meanwhile, Governor Wike has signed into law the Public Procurement Amendment Law No.1 of 2021 and Contributory Health Protection Programme Law No.3 of 2020.
During the signing of two bills at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the Governor said the contributory health insurance programme will give residents of the state access to the health insurance scheme.
He advised civil servants to take advantage of the scheme.