The Kogi State Deputy Governor, Elder Simon Achuba, has threatened to drag Gov. Yahaya Bello to court if after seven days his entitlements amounting to N819,709,980.00 since 2017 is not paid.
In a letter signed by Femi Falani, SAN, on the instruction of the Deputy Governor, Elder Achuba called for the release of all statutory allocations due to the office of the deputy governor amounting to N819,709,980.00, but withheld since 2017, 2018 and 2019,
According to the letter addressed to Governor Yahaya Bello and dated 17th July, 2019, said the deputy governor’s office been a creation of the 1999 constitution, with releases due to it signed into law by the governor and state house of Assembly, lamented that the state governor has refused to release the funds for the deputy governor’s office.
The letter which was made available to newsmen, titled: Demand Notice: Request for the release of all statutory allocations due to the office of the deputy governor of Kogi State amounting to the total sum of N819,709,980.00 ( eight hundred and nineteen and eighty thousand naira ) only for 2017, 2018 and 2019 memo approvals.
The letter reads as follows; ” We as solicitors to his Excellency, Elder Simon O. Achuba, the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, ( herein 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 ( as amended ). Accordingly, the office is statutorily recognized by the Kogi state House of Assembly with statutory allocations signed into law as budget by Your Excellency.
Our client says 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 of the deputy governor but have been withheld by the state government since 2017.
The accumulated statutory allocations as withheld is
N819,709,980.00 ( eight hundred and nineteen and eighty thousand naira ) which includes: travel allowances, hotel bills, pledges and outstanding monthly impress 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.
Notwithstanding the fact that the statutory allocations have been illegally withheld our client has continued to carry out his functions as the deputy governor of Kogi state.
In as much as our client is prepared to continue to discharge the enormous responsibilities of his office, he is currently hampered by lack of funds which has wide ranging implications for the state even as it prepares for the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
In view of the foregoing, we have our clients instructions to request your Excellency to use your good offices to ensure the immediate payment of the withheld statutory allocations legitimately appropriated for the office of the deputy governor of Kogi state since 2017.
“Take notice that if our client’s request is not granted within seven days of the receipt of this letter we have our client’s instructions to seek redress in the National Industrial Court. It is hoped that Your Excellency will not allow our client to resort to litigation in respect of this matter as that may embarrass the government of Kogi State”.