Federation account: Oshiomhole accuses FG of illegalities


Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has accused the Federal Government of making illegal deductions from the federation account which has led to the pauperisation of states, saying the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) should speak up  against the many illegalities being perpetrated by Abuja if democracy must grow in the country.

Speaking while playing host to President of the NBA, Mr Augustine Alegeh, SAN, in Government House on Friday, Oshiomhole said, the Nigerian Bar must find time to speak out not only on rule of law but also on political issues without necessarily being partisan.

Oshiomhole said “I like to comment on your advice to the obedience of court orders. Even on this, I ask you to confront the issues frontally.

“There is a Supreme Court judgment about the status of crude accounts. That account is illegal having regards to sections of the constitution. The judgment of the Supreme Court was clear; you can’t keep a part of the federation account.

“Crude oil excess is unknown and even the concept of excess is dubious. How can you have excess at a time you are borrowing? That pronouncement is there and I want to hear the voice of the Bar on that issue and you can compel the federal government to obey the Supreme Court. When you do that you can come back to us and ask us to do our part.”

Oshiomhole spoke further: “Still talking about the violation. I have had to ask Chief Mike Ozehkome (SAN) to challenge the powers of the Auditor-General of the Federation and the President to make deductions from the federation account because the constitution as we understand it is clear. All monies must first be distributed. Even the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has its money deducted from source. This is unknown to the constitution.

“ALGON is just like the Governor’s Forum. How much we pay and how we maintain the Governors’ Forum is the business of the Governors. It will be ridiculous to ask the Accountant-General of the Federation to make deductions from the federation account to maintain the Governors’ Forum. There are several such violations which the Bar must attack and speak on the side of the rule of law.

“I am sure you are aware that the Federal Government engages illegally in clear subversion of the letter and the spirit of the constitution, deducted money accruing to local government to give to contractors who have no contract with each of these Local Governments to build so-called Health Centres across the 774 Local Government Areas in the country.”