The Kogi House of Assembly on Wednesday upheld the suspension of Dekina Local Government Chairman, Mr Mohammed Ali, urging the legislative council to commence impeachment process against him.
The resolution of the house at the plenary followed the adoption of the report of the ad hoc committee constituted by the house to investigate the crisis that led to the suspension of the council boss on July 10.
Presenting the report, the committee Chairman, Mr Gabriel Daudu (PDP-Ogori-Magongo) said the committee was set up on July 15 to investigate the seven-point allegation bordering on misappropriation of public funds, misconduct and absenteeism.
The allegations include breach of the law on presentation of allocations to the legislative council and operation of the council’s budget without recourse to existing rules.
They also include gross misconduct arising from absence from office without justification; non-recording of up to 20 per cent attendance in office in the last one year and non-rendition of local government accounts.
Others are lack of meaningful development and non-payment of full salaries to workers in spite of retrenchments carried out in phases.
Daudu said that all concerned officials in the council, including the suspended chairman, were invited and each of the seven allegations was treated in isolation for the committee to arrive at the recommendations.
The committee, he said, identified misuse of N3.38 million by the suspended chairman in May 2013, and that most of the expenditures and disbursements in the council were single-handedly carried out by the chairman.
According to the expenditure profile of the chairman, he said, an estimated N20.25 million was expended between January and May 2013 “when even the council was not in place”.
He said there was no breakdown of how the money was disbursed.
Daudu said the committee observed that the suspended chairman, in spite of the monthly allocations to the council, could not show any project executed with the council’s allocations except those carried out with SURE-P intervention funds.
The committee therefore recommended that the suspension order placed on the chairman by the legislative council be upheld.
Another member, Chief Paul Gowon Haruna, moved for the adoption of the report with an amendment that the Dekina Legislative Council be mandated to commence impeachment process against the suspended chairman.
Mr Friday Sani (PDP-Igalamela/Odolu) seconded the motion, saying that the impeachment must follow due process with appropriate agencies playing their respective roles.
the Speaker of the house, Alhaji Momoh-Jimoh Lawal, following majority voice votes, adopted the report with the amendments.