The Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson, has held the lawmaker representing Brass Constituency 1, Isreal Sunny-Goli, responsible for the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) decision to arraign him.
Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) had, on Tuesday, announced that it will arraign the Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Kombowei Benson, and four others for alleged abuse of Office come May 22.
Speaking in Yenagoa on the arraignment, Benson said the move originated from the lawmaker’s claims that the leadership of the House was yet to pay his allowances.
According to him, although the matter had become a subject of litigation, all salaries owed to Sunny-Goli had been paid despite the lawmaker’s alleged absence from his official duties for nearly a session.
He said Sunny-Goli was expected like other lawmakers to sign and collect other allowances but that he failed to do so because of his long absence.
“Hence consistent with a state policy, all unpaid salaries and allowances are paid back to state coffers at the end of every financial year”, he said.
Benson added: “If there’s any display of misconduct and abuse of office, it is Israel Sunny-Goli that is culpable not me. For a whole legislative session, he has only attended about two sittings. Such action has denied his constituents inputs in legislative processes and bills passed in the House.
“It is common knowledge that salaries and wages including allowances are paid only to those, who have performed their duties. I wondered why he is desperately going this far to drag innocent people to issues created by his failure to do his work.
“Besides, it is the practice of the House that individual members sign their financial entitlements. Hence, the Speaker is constraint to accessing money meant for others. If Sunny-Goli his not able to access his benefits, it is his own fault”.
Others to be arraigned alongside the Speaker are; the Clerk of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Owudogu Edward, the Accountant, Koroye A. Stephen, as well as former Clerk and Accountant of the Assembly, Aaron Timiye and Thomas Tamaraodubo, respectively.
They were accused of abusing their respective offices, contrary to paragraph 9 of the Fifth schedule, Part 1 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.