He said the decision of the house had nothing to do with the executive-judiciary face off that had been on since last year. The speaker, who spoke with newsmen in Lokoja, the state capital, said the investigation of the house committee on public account was as a result of the auditor-general’s report on the 2015/2016 finances. He said the report of the auditor-general had indicted the judiciary for spending more than the amount appropriated to it by the house. Kolawole said it was wrong to have linked the action of the house to the face off that can as a result of the table payment arrangement be adopted by the state government for the payment of staff salary. The speaker explained that the PU accounts committee of the house invited the Chief judge on three occasions to defend the allegations but he refused to honour the invitations. He said said such action under the constitution amounted to gross misconduct, saying this is one of the offences for which a Chief Judge could be removed from office. Kolawole noted that the assembly did not defy any court order by going ahead with the activities of the committee on public accounts, saying the issue was never before any court of competent jurisdiction. According to him, the issue that was taken before the Koton Karfe court by the embattled Chief Judge was the one that originated from the letter written to the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), seeking the intervention of the house in the crisis over the pay parade. Kolawole however expressed worries over the action ordered by the court, saying the order was granted when the courts in the state were on strike. He said the constitution of the country empowered the house to investigate how the arms of government and it’s agencies spend funds that were appropriated to them. The speaker added that the house would not allowed itself to be used against another arm of government but would work within the framework of constitutional provisions. Speaking on the timing of the house’s decision, he said it was only coincidental that it came when the executive and the judiciary had a face off, adding that the public accounts committee had started work before the impasse between the two arms of government.]]>
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