Lagos Lawmakers Fault Sanwo-Olu For Not Seeking Legislative Confirmation Of Appointments
The Lagos State House of Assembly has ordered the state government to withdraw the letters of appointment of officials who were not referred to the lawmakers for screening and confirmation of their appointments.
The House gave the order following a ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ brought before the House by the Deputy Majority Leader, Noheem Adams (Eti-Osa I), during plenary.
Raising the motion earlier, Mr Adams cited Section 196, Subsection 2; Section 198 and Section 126, Subsection 3 which gave backing to the House of Assembly in respect of nominations by the governor for appointments.
“Section 126, Subsection 3 provides that except with the resolution of a state Assembly, no person shall act in the office of the Auditor-General for a state for a period exceeding six months.
“As the Chairman, House Committee on Legislative Compliance, I have observed that some appointments to boards and other agencies were not brought to this noble House. If this persists, the principle of separation of powers will be in jeopardy.
“For example, the Auditor-General was appointed on September 22, 2022 and today is April 11, 2023, so his appointment in acting capacity had exceeded what the laws stipulate,” he said.
Supporting Mr Adams, Ademola Kasunmu (Ikeja I) said the stipulations of Section 198 should be strictly adhered to by the state government.
Mr Kasunmu said because such appointments were considered null and void, every remuneration that had been paid to them should be returned to the coffers of the state.
Speaking on the same matter, Victor Akande (Ojo I) observed that the situation happened in the judiciary where an appointment was done without recourse to the House.
Also, Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi-Ifelodun I) lamented that such appointments without regard for the House were becoming too many.
“Separation of power is a doctrine enshrined in the constitution. The executive has the right to nominate people and the House has the responsibility to either confirm or reject such nominations.
“It is not only in the office of the Auditor-General but I don’t know in what capacity one can act beyond the time limit without recourse to the House,” he said.
Mr Olumoh urged the House to look at the issue holistically to put an end to what could cause issues later.
On his part, Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu I) said there were several government officials parading themselves with many names without appearing before the House for clearance.
He said: “It should not be a ‘paddy-paddy’ thing. This is a constitutional matter and if we do not adhere, we would end up facing the wrath of the people.
“This is an infraction to have people who are not cleared by the House receiving salaries and I am of the opinion that such money should be returned to the state’s coffers.”
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Commenting, the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa (Agege I), who presided over the sitting, agreed with others lawmakers that appointments of such nature without recourse to the House amounted to infractions.
“I quite agree with all of you that the failure of such nominees to appear is an infraction or violation of the laws of this House, especially as it relates to the MDAs.
“The laws of the House of Assembly have statutory provisions that nominees of the governor must appear for confirmation.
“It is becoming common and 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.
“I am aware of the development in the Audit Commission, I am aware of the one in the Law Reform Commission and now the Auditor-General and some others,” he said.
The House consequently ordered the withdrawal of letters given to government appointees whose nominations should have been sent to the House for screening and confirmation, but who took up the jobs without the due process.
The House also ordered the immediate return of salaries and remunerations enjoyed by the affected officials pending their appearances before the House.
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