Kogi State Deputy Governor, Elder Simon Achuba, has issued a seven-day notice to Governor Yahaya Bello to pay all his benefits from 2017 till date, amounting to N819,709,980.00, or face legal action.
Achuba said the money was his salaries, impress and allowances entitled to him since 2017, which the governor refused to pay.
But Governor Bello, speaking through his Director-General, Media and Publicity, Mr. Kinsgley Fanwo, said he has no comment to make on the issue.
Meanwhile, speaking through his Counsel, Mr. Femi Falani, SAN, in a letter to the governor, called for the release of all statutory allocation due to the office of the deputy governor amounting to N819,709,980.00, but withheld since 2017.
The letter dated 17th July, 2019 titled: Demand Notice: Request for the release of all statutory allocations due to the office of the Deputy Governor of Kogi State amounting to N819, 709,980.00 (eight hundred and nineteen million, seven hundred and nine thousand, nine hundred and eighty naira ) only for 2017, 2018 and 2019 memo approvals; said the governor’s refusal to release funds for the Deputy Governor’s office is an aberration and negation of the country constitution.
The letter reads a part;
“We act as solicitors to his Excellency, Elder Simon O. Achuba, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, ( hereinafter referred to as our client ) and on whose instructions we write this letter. As you are no doubt aware, our client’s office is a creation of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( As Amended ). Accordingly, the office is statutorily entitled to the prompt release of all allocations due to it as appropriated by the Kogi State House of Assembly and signed into law as the budget by your Excellency.
“Our client has informed us that your Excellency’s administration has consistently refused to give approval for the release of funds for the smooth running of the office of the Deputy Governor even after memos to that effect have been approved for the office. In particular, the statutory allocations approved for the office of the Deputy Governor have been withheld by the state government since 2017.
“The accumulated statutory allocations as withheld is N819,709,980.00 (eight hundred and nineteen million, seven hundred and nine thousand, nine hundred and eighty naira ) which includes travel allowances, hotel bills, pledges and outstanding monthly imprest and salaries due to our client as the Deputy Governor of Kogi state. This said statutory allocations are duly captured in the Kogi state appropriation laws of 2017, 2018, and 2019 supported by various memos sent to your office since 2017 which were duly approved without cash backing till date.”