In a startling revelation, members of the Saboba District Assembly have come forward to expose a series of irregularities surrounding the assembly’s meetings and budget approval process. Addressing the media in Saboba on the development, assembly members shed light on a concerning deviation from standard procedures.
According to the assembly’s standing orders, a minimum of three meetings is mandated each year. However, in an unprecedented move, the Saboba District Assembly held only two general assembly meetings in both 2020 and 2021. Shockingly, no general meetings were convened in 2022 and 2023, except for the election of a new Presiding Member.
One particularly alarming omission was the absence of a mid-year budget review for 2023. Notably, both the Presiding Member and honourable members were excluded from the budget hearing in Yendi. Equally concerning is the revelation that no budget has been approved for the year 2024.
Assembly members expressed disbelief, asserting that they have not sighted, approved, or been made aware of any 2024 composite budget. They strongly contested any claims suggesting their involvement, emphasizing that no ordinary general meeting took place for the approval of the said budget.
The spokesperson for aggrieved assembly members and an assemblyman for Saboba Central Electoral Area Emmanuel Nteyador accused the DCE and associated technocrats of fabricating reports and called for a thorough investigation. He pointed fingers at the finance officer, district acting coordinating director, deputies, internal auditor, planner, work department, and human resource, alleging their complicity in the falsification of signatures and reports.
“From 2020 to 2023, the DCE and his team have consistently fabricated reports during the Functional & Organizational Assessment Tool (FOAT) and District Performance Assessment Tool (DAPT) assessments, which rely on committee and sub-committee proceedings, minutes, motions, and seconded motions. Surprisingly, our district has allegedly passed these assessments successfully, indicating that the reports, including our signatures and input, were falsified; Today, we want to expose the situation in our district, revealing the negligence of the honorable assembly members. Additionally, incentives from the central government intended to boost assembly members’ morale are reportedly being diverted or hoarded” he said.
Mr. Nteyador said as people’s representatives they condemned these actions as criminal and demanded appropriate sanctions against those involved.
He also called on regional and national authorities, including the Regional Coordinating Director, Regional Minister, Ministry of Local Government, Ministry of Finance, and the Presidency, to disregard any reports or budgets originating from Saboba District, branding them as potentially fraudulent.
“Highlighting the severe consequences of such activities, the assembly members expressed concern that personal interests were overshadowing the intended purpose of allocating resources for community development,” he said.
The assembly members further called on the government to intervene, enforce sanctions, and ensure that the rule of law prevails in the face of what they deemed a crisis in governance within the Saboba District.
“We assert that the minutes, signatories, motions, attendance, and overall proceedings in the assembly are fabricated,” they said.
Hon. Nteyador also demanded the prompt settlement of all sitting arrears owed to assembly members within the next five working days while insisting that the DCE and his accomplice submit the Saboba District 2024 composite budget for approval by all elected assembly members, or face strong opposition.
Source: Simon Unyan, Notthern Regional Content Manager