Ekiti State government has said it would not allow the senate probe how it spent bailout funds from the Federal Government.
In a letter dated November 11 and signed by the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Owoseni Ajayi, Ekiti faulted the senate plan to probe the funds.
The state said Nigeria’s federal system does not give the Senate the constitutional power to exercise oversight over finances of the states.
The Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration had written to some states, informing them of their intentions to probe the disbursement of the funds.
But Ekiti State has said it would not open its accounts to the Senate.
The letter read in part: “It is incontrovertible that the duty of oversight of government’s financial activities by the legislative arm in Nigeria is a constitutional matter and the diligent performance of this duty in a time like this, when our nation is in economic recession, cannot be overemphasised.
“We therefore appreciate the intentions and aspirations of the National Assembly in the above regard, which, we have no doubt, are aimed at ensuring fiscal discipline, financial integrity, accountability and probity of government and its relevant agencies at all levels.
“However, we respectfully wish to observe that we are constrained, as a state government bound by the principles of federalism and the rule of law, to accede to your proposal to exercise oversight powers over the disbursement of the bailout granted to Ekiti State by the Federal Government because it is legally and constitutionally outside the powers of the Senate of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“In this regard, we wish to draw your attention to the clear provisions of Sections 121, 122, 123, 124, 125 and 125 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which vests the powers of oversight functions in respect of states’ finances exclusively in the respective state Houses of Assembly.”