Local Government Council Chairman Suspended In Kogi Over Alleged Misappropriation Of Fund, Security Breaches

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The Kogi State House of Assembly has suspended the Chairman of Ibaji Local Government Council, William Iko-Ojo, over allegations of misappropriation of public funds, security threat, gross misconduct and abuse of office.

The suspension of the Council Chairman is a sequel to a petition written to the Assembly by Jibril Ojochenemi, an indigene of the local government.

Reading the petition on the floor of the House, the Majority Leader of the House, Suleiman Abdulrazaq, said the petitioner alleged that the sum of N536, 137, 064.9k )(Five hundred and thirty-six million, one hundred and thirty-seven thousand, sixty-four naira and nine kobo), was spent as overhead cost without budgetary provision by the council.

The Majority Leader said the alleged misappropriation was reported in the audited consolidated financial statement of the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State for the period covering 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021.

The Majority Leader, therefore, called for the suspension of the Council boss, which was seconded by Deputy Speaker of the House, Honourable Enema Paul.

In his submission, the Deputy Speaker noted that the allegations against the Local Government Chairman were weighty, adding that he should step aside pending the conclusion of an investigation by the House.

He said that under the watch of the embattled Council boss, a crisis broke out in Ibaji, which led to the death of a woman and score injured, but nobody was arrested in relation to the breach of security in the area.

” If the executive Chairman cannot control security problems and is busy inciting crisis in his domain, my submission here is that the Chairman should be suspended,” the Deputy Speaker stated.

In his rulings on the motion, Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Aliyu Umar Yusuf, directed the Vice Chairman to take over the activities of the Local Government in an Acting capacity.

The House, however, set up a seven Man committee chaired by Deputy Speaker Enema Paul to investigate the allegations.

The Assembly equally directed the Nigeria Police and Department of State Services (DSS) to put the suspended Chairman on security watch to avert any breakdown of law and order.

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