Councillor representing Ward 9 in Estako Central Local Government Area, John Momoh, has been hospitalised after he was beaten to pulp by thugs allegedly hired by the council Chairman, John Akhigbe.
Momoh was said to have been rushed to the Irrua Specialist Hospital in Esan Central Local Government and was reportedly revived with oxygen.
Trouble started when the suspected thugs stormed Tuesday’s plenary of the councillors at the council’s secretariat in Fugar and descended on Momoh and two others, Kadiri Roger and Prince Dauda Anakhu Amedu.
The three councillors were subsequently suspended for three months without pay for gross misconduct, threat to other members with dangerous weapons, seizing of the mace and hitting it on the floor thereby defacing it.
Their suspension followed a motion moved by the majority leader, Aigbore Zibiri, after the fracas, and seconded by Peter Aidokhuru, after which the House adjourned indefinitely.
Prince Amedu, however, alleged that the attack was orchestrated by the council chairman because they were perceived as not being loyal, adding that the council boss declined to release ambulance to convey Momoh to the hospital. He said they were protesting the non-payment of their imprest and other benefits.
“I am going to court because nobody can suspend a councillor for more than two months. We will collect our money,” he said.
But Akhigbe denied involvement in the councillors’ ordeal and explained that they were suspended for fighting during plenary.
He added that the House resolved to move for forfeiture of their imprest instead of suspending them.
“I was not in Fugar that day. I don’t have any thugs. Those three councillors were crying after their first imprest of N100,000 each was seized.
“When I heard about what was going to happen that day, I called for security enforcement. The DPO came to tell me they arrested Ward 9 councillor because he slapped the councillor representing Ward 2,” Akhigbe said.