THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating alleged illegal payment of about N400 million each to some members of the Kwara State House of Assembly, it was gathered.
Accordingly, the anti-graft body is quizzing Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Sola Gold and the Clerk of the House of Assembly, Kperogi Halimat Jummai , over the alleged payment.
An EFCC source maintained that the payment did not follow due process.
It was gathered that the 24 lawmakers were two weeks ago paid N400 million severance package, when their tenure is yet to expire.
The petitioner said even though the lawmakers and members of the state executive council are entitled to severance package, it is the next administration that is supposed to pay the money, a source at the EFCC said.
“More worrisome is the issue of furniture allowance running into hundreds of millions of naira, according to the petitioner which the lawmakers wanted it pay along with severance package,” the petitioner added.
Speaker of the Assembly Dr. Ali Ahmed had in a letter confirmed that the lawmakers were entitled to severance package at the end of their tenure on June 7, this year.
The letter reads: “In accordance with the provisions of the revenue mobilisation, allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), honourable members are entitled to 200 per cent of their annual basic salaries as their severance gratuity allowance at the end of their tenure of office.”
The Clerk of the house confirmed that the lawmakers had received their severance package.
She told the EFCC operatives that Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed approved the payment of the package.
She said: “In a meeting of the principal officers of the Kwara
House of Assembly wherein I was scheduled to be the secretary, held on
May 8, 2019, issue of severance gratuity to the honourable members was raised.
“At the meeting, I informed the house that the governor had approved the payment. I added that members were expected to be paid after the expiration of their tenure of office. The house debated it and they overruled me.”
Gold, on the other hand, wrote and sought for the approval of the severance gratuity and furniture allowances amounting to about N300 million for some members of the state executive council.
The SSG, in a letter to the governor dated May 8, 2019, said: “Your
Excellency, by virtue of the provisions of Kwara State remuneration of political and public office holders laws, certain category of political and public office holders are entitled to severance and furniture allowances of their basic salaries respectively upon successful completion of tenure.”
He said while the lawmakers had received their monies, members of the state executive council are yet to receive their gratuity.