The Senate on Wednesday approved the refund of N10.069 billion to Kogi State government ahead of governorship election slated for Saturday.
The approval followed a report by the Senate Committee Chairman on Local debts and Foreign Loans, Senator Clifford Akhimienmona Ordia.
According to Ordia, the Committee had interacted with Federal Ministry officials and those of Kogi State government in line with set rules on approval of funds and found satisfactory.
“Senate on 16th October 2019 began consideration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to approve N10.069 for Kogi State government being refunds of expenses done on behalf of the Federal government.
“The Committee interacted with the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works,
Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance, and the Director-General of Debt Management office, as well as the Kogi State Ministry of Finance.
Following the report, Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe cautioned the Senate on approving refund at a time when the governorship election was three days, stressing that the money could be used to fund election.
Abaribe called for a weeks delay on grounds that the governor was notorious for misappropriating funds which should be used to the advantages of Kogi people.
“I agree that the state which does well should be refunded, but in this case, what I don’t want is a misuse of the fund because it is for the people of Kogi State.
“The election is next week and this money will be used for election; let’s delay it for one week for the speed with which this report was turned in is suspicious.”
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, however, closed contributions on the matter saying that he would not entertain any more opinions.
“Thanks for making your point, but I can’t take any more contributions.
In the last Senate, Kogi State had applied for the fund alongside other states during the 7th senate but was not approved, supports say it is a mere coincidence that the state re-applied at a time close to the election.
The refund was approved after majority voice votes were taken.