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Imo Assembly suspends 27 council chairmen indefinitely

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Angered by their alleged negligence to honour summons, the Imo State House of Assembly yesterday suspended indefinitely all the 27 local council chairmen in the state.

They were directed to handover the government property in their care to the Clerk of the Assembly, while the house also resolved that they would instruct, by writing, the Commissioner of Police in the state to enforce the order.

Over 95 per cent of the council chairmen were last year elected under the auspices of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

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Meanwhile, the major opposition party in the state then, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which boycotted the election accusing the APC-led government of not conducting proper election process according to the laws, has lauded the suspension, accusing the suspended chairmen of being beneficiaries of the “illegalities” that brought them in.

In a telephone interview, the state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Damian Oparah, said: “They were appointed. There was no observance of electoral process. How can you select them from the wards and not the INEC wards. The whole thing was built on illegality abinitio.”

The lawmakers’ decision to suspend the council chairmen arose from a resolution in a motion moved by the member representing Nkwerre Constituency, Chika Madumere, following the alleged neglect of the summons extended to the council chiefs on April 25.

The council chairmen were directed to appear before the Assembly alongside with their Directors of Administration and General Services (DAGS) and Treasurers to defend allegations against them over gross misconduct.

On April 25, The Guardian gathered that the chairmen came without the DAGS and treasurers, but the lawmakers were angered by that and asked them to return on May 9 with the officials.

But yesterday, the DAGS and the treasurers honoured the summon without the chairmen, prompting the Speaker of the Assembly, Acho Ihim, to suspend them indefinitely, directing their deputies to take charge of the affairs of their councils.

He also directed that despite their suspension, they should report to the House Committee on Local Government and Public Accounts chaired by Lawman Duruji (Ehime Mbano Constituency), currently investigating them and activities of their various councils.


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