The senator representing Edo South senatorial district in the upper chambers of the National Assembly, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, has been placed on a hot seat to account for his constituency projects.
One Love Foundation, a non-profit making organisation, under the leadership of Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor, a civil rights crusader, has requested for information on constituency projects being handled by the senator.
Relying on the Freedom of Information(FOI) Act, the organisation through its counsel, Barrister Douglas Ogbankwa, asked for 11 details regarding the projects namely: the nature of constituency projects; the location of the constituency projects; the sums budgeted with evidence of the Appropriation Act; evidence of monies released by to the contractors; particulars of directors of companies that execute same; state of completion of each of the constituency projects; evidence of completion of the constituency projects; evidence of handing over of same; nature of the constituency projects in 2021 Budget; location of the constituency projects in your constituency for the 2021 budget and particulars of directors of the company awarded the 2021 budget’s constituency project for the purpose of monitoring and transparency.
Barrister Ogbankwa reminded Senator Urhoghide that a breach of the FOI Act carries some penalties.
“We have the unequivocal instructions of our client to state that if you fail, refuse or neglect to accede to this request as provided by law, aside initiating proceeding against you and any company involved in a court of competent jurisdiction, our client shall embark on a peaceful protest and peaceful agitation as protected and prescribed by the requisite sections of the 4th chapter of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), to protect the local interest of our client’s members, who are your constituents, to ensure compliance thereto,” Barrister Ogbankwa stated.
In a related development, Chief Eholor has given his support to the JUSUN national strike for the independence of the judiciary ‘as it is a serious matter.”
He stated that this morning his legal team was to go to the Edo State High Court Headquarters at Sapele Road, Benin City to file a suit against the Edo State Government and others to compel for the independence of the judiciary in Edo State “only to hear that all courts in Nigeria have been closed down due to to the JUSUN strike to ensure and compel the independence of the judiciary in Nigeria.”
He charged the governors to leave the judiciary alone, face their executive duties and “let the judiciary operate independently with financial autonomy.”