A coalition of civil society groups under the auspices of Groups Joint investigation has accused the Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the removal of Kwara State Auditor General, Mr Samuel Omoniyi Adeyeye.
The coalition revealed the high level of victimisation, lip service to fiscal transparency and accountability; and an ignoble reputation of undermining the Rule of Law by the Kwara State government.
According to the coalition, “The role of the state audit is of utmost importance for public sector financing because it indicates problems which diminish the effectiveness of the functionality of the state, increases transparency of the public sector and influences the creation of additional value for money to improve service delivery (ISD) and development.”
In a statement signed by Comrade Taiwo Otitolaye, Executive Director Community Outreach for Development and Welfare Advocacy (CODWA), said the most important function of government auditing is to determine whether the process of collecting and spending public funds and other relevant transactions is in line with state laws and regulations, to determine whether there is any misbehaviour in the management of public revenue and expenditure.
“Following the Audit query for expenditures to the sum of N6.2 billion that were not receipted, the state government orchestrated every mechanism to pull down the Auditor GENERAL for performing his professional job which he swore to abide by under oath of office.”
He said the State Assembly members who are willing negative channels to purportedly remove the Auditor without any query in the history of his career, and without any avenue for a fair hearing.
“Section 85(6) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (As Amended) states that “in the exercise of his function under the Constitution, the Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other authority or person.”
They were perturbed by seemingly nonchalant disposition and repulsive steps of the state government towards sustainability of reforms of its fiscal governance ecosystem evident by unjustified removal of the State Auditor General directly linked to his damning findings itemized in the maiden Citizens Accountability Report.
He explained that the auditor was removed against the injunction of the Industrial Court, a competent Court of jurisdictions sitting in Akure.
Meanwhile, the Kwara State government stay action from removing the state Auditor General pending the determination of his suit against this regime. which he referred to as recklessness and perversion of justice taken too far.
Comrade Otitolaye added that the government went to town with funfare, and agog with fake news funded by public funds that the Industrial Court has overturned the injunction.
According to him, “the state is equally afraid to be part of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Process in Nigeria which many state governments have signed into. Her attitude and body language to the OGP are chameleonic in appearance and actions.”
“The Abdulrahaman regime has continuously camouflaged openness and accountability. If wishes were horses, the governor and his Political agents would hang white albatrosses around their necks in cacophony of deceit and as a mark of subjugated victory over fiscal transparency.”
“The state Assembly has also continued to be a rubber stamp organ instead of playing her oversight functions of checks and balances.”
However, they call for the reinstatement of Mr Samuel Omoniyi Adeyeye in obedience to the injunction of the Industrial Court.