DELTA–In an era of financial probity the Delta State House of Assembly has been enmeshed in finical scandal as the leadership of the house allegedly collected N1.2million naira from commissioner nominees before clearing them, a development that many house members frowned at.
ADVOCATE authoritatively gathered that the house leadership on receiving the list of would be commissioners sent by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa agreed to collect N200, 000.00 per commissioner, but the Speaker of the House allegedly unilaterally asked the nominees to pay N100, 000.00 per person.
It would be recalled that before the House adjourned till August, the house received and cleared 12 commissioners in what has been considered by many as mere rubber stamp exercise by the lawmakers.
However recently development may have unearth the reasons why most of the commissioners were asked to, “Take a bow and go”, as a member aptly put it, noting that what transpired in the house cannot be considered as screening.
Why speaking to ADVOCATE on the development, the PDP member from Delta South, frowned at the development of money changing hands before the commissioner’s nominees were cleared.
According him, “is it not demining that we are collecting a mere N100, 000.00 per commissioner before confirming them? These are same people we as lawmaker supposed to carry oversight function on. So, how would they respect House, when we have so cheapen ourselves before them?
“We are a House of 29 members, so, how much would each member get from the N1.2million naira allegedly paid by the 12 commissioners. Is it not laughable that the house can stooped this low because of money?
If we are to be taken seriously by Deltans; we have to break away from this ‘money for hand back for ground’ ways of doing things. The inn thing now is change and we must do the work we are voted for and paid for to do, without waiting for any financial inducement, because that era has passed.” He added.
Also speaking on the development, the Coordinator of Centre Point International, an advocacy group, Mr. Okotete J. Ovie, condemned what he described as shameful of a legislative house that knows its onions.
Speaking on a telephone interview Mr Okotete noted that the level of corruption, abuse of office and out of impunity has characterized the political landscape in Delta State, since 1999, stressing that it is time for the lawmaker to up their game.
He added that in the era where government at all level are enjoined to reduce cost of governance, the Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly is planning to appoint about 50 aides coupled with over 70 aides that the state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has appointed.
He queried the rational of the Speaker have such huge numbers of aides, “what will the speaker be doing with 50 political aides outside his security attaché?”
“I think as a people we have to speak up against impunity and corruption in Delta state if not, the fortune of the state would be continually squandered by the cabal that has hold Delta and Deltans hostage.”
All attempt to speak to the Speaker, Mr. Monday Igbuya proved abortive as calls to his mobile line was not answered and text message sent to his phone was not replied, as of the time for filing this report.