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Edo Speaker defends N300m benefit for Ex-Governors, Deputies

By News Express on 19/11/2016

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The Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Justin Okonoboh, says the House is justified in approving the sum of 300 million naira as housing benefit for former governors and deputies.

The Speaker said this in reaction to allegations of waste of public funds against the House in various quarters, particularly social media.

He argued that the amount is not so outrageous in the face of current economic realities in the country, adding that the payment is one time only.

“Some talked about the amount and I think that was quite moderate because the law says any part of the country. If you want to use 200 million naira in Lagos, it probably might just be a grant to them because they need to add money to build a befitting house in Lagos or wherever.” Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned the idea of approving 300 million naira retirement benefits for the immediate past governor, Adams Oshiomhole, and his deputy, Dr. Pius Odubu.

The rights group has called on Governor Godwin Obaseki to “immediately withdraw the bill, and use the funds to clear the backlog of pension arrears spanning between seven and 45 months.”

SERAP’s call followed reports of amendment of Law for Pension Rights of the Governor and Deputy Governor by the Edo State House of Assembly, with the immediate past governor and deputy governor expected to be some of the beneficiaries.

The new amendment contains provision of residential buildings worth N200m and N100m for the governor and his deputy at the expiration of their tenures. The bill also provides that the buildings could be sited in any location of their choice.

The Edo Speaker also commented on the suspension of former Speaker of the House, Victor Edoror.

Following his impeachment on May 4, an ad-hoc committee headed by Emmanuel Agbaje was set up to investigate the former speaker over alleged misappropriation of fund.

Edoror was suspended over his failure to appear before the committee, and the current Speaker insisted that the action followed due process.

“I set up another committee to invite him so that we can hear from him to give us their report within three months as it is usual during that period he remains suspended, that’s what we’ve just done.

“We are in the same party. It is not a political thing, it’s not a personal thing, we are from the same senatorial district. I actually thought I was doing him a favour,” he explained.

(Channels TV)

•Photo shows Edo Speaker Justin Okonoboh.

Source News Express

Posted 19/11/2016 04:53:15 AM

 

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