LG chairman’s suspension not politically motivated, Edo government insists
Edo State government has said that the Etsako West Council chairman, Yakubu Musa, was asked to step down to allow thorough investigation into alleged N46 million payroll fraud uncovered in the council.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Jimoh Ijegbai, the government said it took the decision in the interest of people of Etsako West and to prevent Musa from impeding efforts to investigate the matter.
“The attention of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs, Edo State, has been drawn to the falsehood and unnecessary sentiment being spread on the circumstances surrounding the suspension of the chairman of Etsako West Council, Hon. Yakubu Musa.
“At the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting on May, 28, 2019, the governor of Edo State frowned at the very high wage bill of Etsako West, which amounted to N66,652,527.52 monthly, whereas Oredo Council with more staff strength was paying N59,859,964.29 to its staff.
“Consequently, the governor directed the ministry to carry out staff audit in Etsako West,” he stated.
Ijegbai noted that at the end of the verification exercise, 63 staff of the council did not show up, thereby saving N6,035,656.29 for the council.
The Guardian learnt that Etsako West had entrusted its payroll to a GL 03 officer who inserted two fictitious names and allegedly scammed the council N46 million from July 2018 to May 2019.
The case is currently being investigated by security agencies, Ijegbai added.