Kogi Assembly suspends five council chiefs for alleged fraud
The Kogi House of Assembly yesterday ordered the immediate suspension of five local council administrators in the state for alleged misappropriation of funds.
The affected officials include the state chairman of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Taofiq Isah from Ijumu council, Baron Okwoli from Igalamela-Odolu, Moses Akande from Ogori-Magongo, Moses Olorunleke, Kabba-Bunu council and Abdulkareem Ohiare from Okehi.
The suspension came after the adoption of Matter of Urgent Public Importance of alleged gross misconduct brought on the floor by Mr. Friday Sani (PDP-Igalamela-Odolu).
Sani in the motion alleged that the administrators of Igalamela-Odolu, Ogori, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu and Okehi enriched themselves through the mismanagement of their councils’ funds, thereby neglecting their primary obligations.
According to him: “The five administrators have continued to spend from the councils’ accounts without appropriation and have failed to render proper accounts of their expenses.”
Sani in his motion prayed that subsequently, the five administrators should hand over to their respective council secretaries who would oversee the affairs while investigation into the matter continues.
Abayomi Pedro (APC-Mopa-Muro) who seconded the motion said it was time the House began its oversight functions, adding that the administrators should be suspended to create a chance for thorough investigation.
But the House Chief Whip, Kekere Sani (PDP-Okehi) opposed the motion, arguing that the administrators ought to be given fair hearing before the suspension order.
Oluwatoyin Lawal (PDP-Yagba-West) in his contribution said the constitution provided for checks and balances and separation of power, adding that the council heads were invited for questioning several times but they ignored the House.
John Abba (PDP-Ibaji) said the council administrators acted with impunity since their appointment.
Ruling on the motion, the speaker, Umar Imam gave the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters four weeks to conclude investigations and report back to the House.
Also at the session, the House Committee on Education was directed to begin an inspection of all educational facilities in state-owned tertiary institutions in Kogi.
This decision was taken due to protests by students of the state polytechnic over the lack of water, electricity and other facilities last week.