By: Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
The Oyo State House of Assembly has called on Governor Abiola Ajimobi to urgently appoint a substantive Auditor-General (AG) for the state, as it said the continued delay contravened the provisions of Nigeria’s constitution.
The Assembly, during its plenary on Thursday, in a motion sponsored by five lawmakers, Hon. Afeez Adeleke, representing Iseyin/Itesiwaju; Hon. (Mrs) Bolanle Agbaje, representing Ibadan North 1; Hon. Fatai Adesina, representing Ibadan South-East 1; Hon Wale Akande, from Ogbomoso South and Hon. Bolaji Badmus noted that the position of the A.G for a state was a statutory and sacrosanct one, when the issue of governance is concerned in order to ensure transparency, accountability and probity.
They added that the issue of appointment of the auditor-general should not be compromised as contained in the constitution.
Citing section 126(1) of the 1999 constitution, the lawmakers said the appointment of A.G to the governor of the state was subject to confirmation by the House of Assembly of the state.
They recalled that during the last consideration of the 2016 budget proposals of all ministries, departments and agencies of government in February, 2016, the current auditor-general in the state introduced himself as the acting auditor-general, adding that over a year when the Assembly commenced the consideration of the 2017 budget proposals of the MDAs, the A.G reintroduced himself as the acting auditor-general.
This, according to them, was against the stipulation of six months granted by the constitution for someone to be in the acting capacity, adding that if there should be anything otherwise, it must be in line with the resolution of the House of Assembly as provided by Nigeria’s 1999 constitution in section 126(3).
The lawmakers, however, pointed out that the said A.G was issued an appointment letter in February, 2016 on the basis of Held Against Post (HAP) and not even acting A.G as officially addressed and subsumed, saying that this act ran contrary to the civil service regulation.
They hinged their submission on the fact that the said acting A.G is a substantive grade level 16 officer, whom they opined could not “Hold Against Post” in that capacity in accordance with the civil service rule.
The Speaker, Hon. Michael Adeyemo, after a robust deliberation from other lawmakers on the motion, urged Governor Ajimobi to confirm the appointment of a substantive auditor-general for the state and equally directed the would-be A.G to comply with the provisions of the constitution in respect of the submission of the audited reports.