Ekiti State House of Assembly has placed the16 local government chairmen and their 177 councilors as well as political officials in the councils on indefinite suspension over alleged misappropriation of funds.
The Peoples Democratic Party , PDP, elected officials were inaugurated into offices on December 19, 2017 under the administration of former Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The assembly resolution was reached at the assembly’s plenary session held yesterday where it was resolved that the auditor general of the local government must begin forensic audit of all accounts to pave way for more actions by Governor Kayode Fayemi.
Addressing newsmen in Ado Ekiti, on the resolve of the House, the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Leader of Government Business, Hon Gboyega Aribisogan, said the action was taken in line with Section 7 of the 1999 constitution and Section 82 of the Assembly’s Standing Order.
Aribisoga revealed that the reports submitted by Public Accounts Committee, saddled with the responsibility of probing the finances of the councils , in line with Section 82 of the 1999 constitution contained alleged infractions in form of misappropriation , diversion and contract inflation , which he said the House can’t overlook.
“We worked on the documents and we realized that the council bosses went on their way to use direct labour for projects that go beyond their approval limits making them conduit pipes to massively loot the third tier of government.
“The ineptitude, corruption, misappropriation, diversion and outright looting discovered in the reports saddened us that the third tier of government was badly managed by these local government elected officials. They showed that they were there to fend for themselves and not the people.
“Section 7 of the 1999 constitution stipulated that the House of Assembly shall make laws for the good governance and operations of the councils , including agencies not contained on the exclusive list
“ We hereby resolved that the chairmen of the 16 local government councils, their appointed officials and all councilors be placed on an indefinite suspension to pave way for a forensic audit of the accounts for their continued stay in office will obstruct the course of investigation.
“The suspended officials should hand over government properties in their possession to the Directors of Administration.
“We also resolved that appropriate sanctions will be meted out to any erring elected or appointed and career officers that are found culpable in the misapplication, misappropriation and diversion of public funds”, he said.
He added further: “We saw cases of over invoicing and contract inflation and there were evidence of how they awarded contracts were awarded to families and their cronies .
“We are not going to spare anyone, including the career officers. Whoever that is culpable will be sanctioned. But they have the liberty to go to court to challenge our action”.
He dispelled the insinuation that a sum of N8 million bribe was offered to the House by the council bosses to stave off suspension, saying only the members of the committee carried out the oversight function.
“On the issue of whether they were coerced or pressured or persuaded to join APC does not concern the House. What we are after is ensuring that government monies are preserved and spend appropriately”, he said.