The Kogi State House of Assembly has suspended the Chairman of Ibaji Local Government Area, 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 sequel to a petition written to the Assembly by Jibril Ojochenemi which was read by the House Majority Leader, Suleiman Abdulrazaq, a member representing Okene Town.
Abdulrazaq said the petition 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 budget provision by the Chairman.
The Majority Leader said the alleged misappropriation was reported in the audited consolidated financial statement of the 21 Local Government Area of Kogi State for the period covering 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021.
He urged the House to look into instances of security breaches in high disrespect to the rule of law, saying such conduct portrays the ”man to act above the law”
Following the petition before the house, the Majority Leader called for the suspension of the embattled Council boss, which was immediately seconded by Deputy Speaker, Enema Paul, who represents Dekina Okura State constituency.
The Deputy Speaker in his submission noted that the allegations against the Local Government Chairman were weighty, adding that he should step aside pending the conclusion of investigation by the House.
In their various contributions, the members representing Ogori Magongo State Constituency Bode Ogunmola, Dekina/Biraidu, Ochidi Usman Shehu, Kogi Koton Karfe, Aliyu Maikudi, Okene South, Yusuf Zakari Eneve all threw their weight behind the removal of the Ibaji Council boss.
They said under the watch of the embattled Council boss, a crisis broke out in Ibaji which led to the death of a woman.
” 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,” one of the lawmakers said.
In his rulings, the 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.
“He is becoming a security threat to the place he is supposed to provide security. As a Chairman that was democratically elected, the party that the Chairman belongs to has equally petitioned his character. But all effort to see that he behaves well was not forthcoming.
“When you have a Chairman that is supposed to provide an enabling environment for people to go about their lawful business, is now seen inciting communities against each other, threaten to remove traditional rulers or install new ones before were it exist. That cannot be tolerated. The security reports against the Chairman are not favourable” the Speaker stated.
He called on 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.