The refusal of the Rivers State Government to make the 2016 and 2017 Budgets public has become a subject of litigation.
This is as an advocacy group, the Initiative for Transparent Strategy and Good Leadership has dragged Governor Nyesom Wike to court.
The group is asking the Federal Government to stop all its allocations to Rivers state until the 2017 Budgets is published.
Joined in the matter are the Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly, Ikunyi Owaji-Ibani, the Rivers State House of Assembly, Attorney General of Rivers state and Revenue Mobilisation Allocations and Fiscal Commission.
The parties are to appear before a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt to explain why the Budget of Rivers state is not a public document as defined by Law.
According to the suit obtained by newsmen, the group wants the court to determine if the 2017 budget approved by members of the house and Assembly is not a public document.
The group also want to decipher, “if the Assembly was supposed to pass into law the revenues and expenditure known as Appropriation bill when it can not be accessed by the public”.
The Initiative for Transparent Strategy and Good Leadership is also praying the court to “Grant an order to the federal government, restraining them from releasing the monthly allocations to the state government where the government is not able to issue a copy of the 2017 budget to the claimant within seven days.”
The group is equally asking the court to award the sum of five hundred thousand naira to them against the state governor, Attorney General, Speaker of the House and entire members of the Assembly, “having failed, refused and neglected to issue the claimant with a copy of the 2017 budget as demanded earlier.”
The matter has been slated for hearing at the Federal High Court one on the 5th of December 2017.