Following our earlier report, it appears that the judiciary in Akwa Ibom State, saddled with the responsibility of interpreting the content of the law so as to ensure that public office holders have little or no room in carrying out corrupt practices have joined their Legislative and Executive counterparts in milking the state dry vis a vis budget padding.
While Nigerians are yet to recover from the proposal of the Nigerian Senate to purchase vehicles at an earth-quaking sum of N5,500,000,000 (Five Billion Five Hundred Million Naira), Akwa Ibom State Judiciary towing the footsteps of their federal counterparts from the 2019 approved state budget has N1,042,000,000 (One Billion Forty-Two Million Naira) to spend on the purchase of vehicles.
According to the approved budget, fifteen Hyundai Elentra vehicles will go to the HODs and DROs, 5 Prado Jeeps will be given to Judges, the President Customary Court of Appeal will also get a Prado Jeep and a Hilux. One coaster bus, two 2015 models of 18 seater buses, 5 Toyota corolla saloon cars, and 3 Toyota Hilux cars were also among the various vehicles listed to be purchased while a paltry N600,000 (Six Hundred Thousand Naira) will be recovered from the sales of unserviceable vehicles.
Shockingly, the budget of Industrialization which was supposed to position the State in the front burner as the most developed in the Southern region of the country has been wittingly transformed into a cash cow as the judicial arm in Akwa Ibom State poised on collecting their share of the national cake through hook and crook also had over N3,500,000,000 (Three Billion Five Hundred Million Naira) in the approved budget for the payment of outstanding debt and other liabilities.
SecretReporters also learned from the budget that in a clear intent to defraud Akwaibomites, the supposed interpreters of the law who seems to have become breakers of the law, also got the approval of their partners at the other arms of government to expend a humongous sum of N5,000,000 (Five Million Naira) for the Provision of hoisting of plastic and iron wastebaskets at high court premises Uyo, High court complex Ikot Ekpene and Magistrate court premises Uyo. A total of 100 waste bins was listed, showing that mathematically, each will cost N50,000.
Many have described this action by the Judiciary, as a divide and conquer technique where every budget is approved irrespective of the fact that it is padded provided no arm scrutinizes the other.