The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has alleged sinister motive in a planned public hearing on the finances of local governments in the state.
The state House of Assembly had issued a public service announcement inviting the general public to hear on the finances of the local governments in the last one year.
The hearing is scheduled for today at the Ekiti State House of Assembly Complex in Ado Ekiti.
Chairman of the PDP in the state, Gboyega Oguntuwase, said the House of Assembly had no basis for the public hearing, has not established the grounds for such probe.
He said: “If the essence of their public sitting is holy and not an attempt to subdue and intimidate the council chairmen and work towards an end, they ordinarily should have met the conditions precedent.
“Firstly, they cannot bring unaudited accounts to any public hearing. If the accounts are unaudited, it becomes unacceptable. We are not against accountability, but it must be sought with very clean hands.”
Oguntuwase added that the assembly had earlier said they would visit all the local governments to carry out investigations and verifications, which it has not yet done.
“All these rush-rush attitude shows that they are working towards a premeditated end. We are not saying that people should not be accountable. But, with the totality of the scenarios, with an APC speaker, leader of the House and all the three principal officers, they may sidetrack other members and there would not be justice,” he said.
He further alleged that it was “a systematic attempt to strangulated the local government in Ekiti. In the past few months, no kobo has been remitted to the local governments, thereby making it impossible to run the nearest unit of government to the ordinary man in Ekiti.”
One of the 16 local government chairmen, who pleaded anonymity, said: “They invited us some weeks ago to give an account of our stewardship. This account of stewardship is given on a yearly basis. But they said we should give account of nine months.
“We found it amusing and incongruous with the norm. The papers we presented to them are already in the public domain, but in a situation where the accounts were not audited, they didn’t ask the chairmen questions and they did not come to the councils for any form of verification, it’s awkward what the public hearing is based on,” he added.
He expressed concern that the House Committee on Local Government failed to visit the councils to verify the claims made by the chairmen, which they never did.