Benue Assembly Suspends Three Council Chairman
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
The Benue State House of Assembly has slammed a three months suspension on three local government chairmen for gross misconduct, financial misappropriation and other offences contrary to local government law.
Those suspended include chairmen of Ogbadibo local government, Mr James Akola and his deputy, that of Gwer East LG, Mr Vitalis Ukwar and vandeikya LG, Mr Dennis Akura.
The approval for their suspension followed a correspondent sent to the House of Assembly by the Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom requesting for the approval of members for their suspension after investigation on the allegationleveled against them were carried out.
Moving the motion for the suspension of the chairman of Ogbadibo and his deputy, the deputy speaker, Mr Egli Johnson Ahubi said he support the sanctions of the local government officers as their action contravene the local government law 2007 as amended and as such they should be suspended to serve as deterrent to others.
The member representing Ohimini state constituency, Mr Christopher Adaji seconded the motion
On the approval for the suspension of the Gwer East local government chairman, Mr Vitalis Ukwar, the member representing Konshisha state constituency, Mr Edward Ujege moved that the Gwer East chairman be suspended based on the investigation concluded and the facts found out and the proposal from the Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.
Seconding the motion, member representing Oju II state constituency, Mr Ire Matthew said any officer of the local government that handles affairs of the local government with impunity should be dealt with.
Ire said all relevant section of the local government law have been complied.
He noted further that before now there were several allegations of financial misappropriation against the Gwer East chairman and an adhoc committee was set up by the state Assembly to look into the matter but the Gwer East chairman refused to appear before the committee which shows that he was guilty of the offence.
The deputy majority leader of the house, Mr Sule Audu moved the motion for the suspension of the vandeikya local government chairman, Mr Dennis Akura and the motion was seconded by the member representing Ogbadibo state constituency, Mr Joseph Ojobo.
Seconding the motion the Ogbadibo representative warned that all council chairmen should work for the benefit of their people or resign if they feel otherwise as the law would always catch up with them.
Mr Ojobo decried the rate at which local goverment chairmen spend money that are not appropriated for.
He added that between January to March 2018, most of the local government chairmen have been spending money that were not appropriated and captured in the budget which he said was against the local government constitution of 2007 as amended.
Members of the house however warned other local government chairmen to seat up and work in the interest of the people as anyone found wanting would be made to face the law.
Speaking to newsmen after the sitting, the speaker of he state House of Assembly, Mr Titus Uba denied rumours that the three chairmen were suspended because they refused to decamp to the PDP with the governor.