Barely three weeks to the expiration of tenure, the Chairman of Ijumu local government area of Kogi state, Hon. Taufiq Isah, has allegedly auctioned properties worth hundreds of millions of naira belonging to the local government.
The Chairman, according to an insider who craved anonymity, allegedly sold the items to himself through political allies as efforts to resist his fraudulent move were met with threats of using security agencies to arrest anyone that goes against his plan.
The insider revealed that items allegedly sold out included; two Toyota Corolla 1.8 Salon 2014 model, Toyota Camry salon, Toyota Hummer Hiace Bus belonging to the legislative council, Toyota Hiace Conference bus and that of NULGE, Toyota Camry salon car Envelope, 2 Toyota Sienna, Ford Hilux Van, Ford Jeep, Toyota Pick Up Van, Quiqui, Dyna Van and other vehicles.
Other government valuable such as ploughs, harrows, tractor scrap, tractors (Ursus 4512), MF3755, new Holland, 2 cat graders 120G and others were sold for 16,560,000 Naira.
The remaining items are; 4 televisions, 5 standing fans, generators, 4 refrigerators, typewriters, motor saw and so on.
A staff of the local government who pleaded anonymity because she was not mandated to speak, wants the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, to dissolve the process and direct refund of funds collected in the exercise, saying the entire local government will be empty if the auctioning activities are allowed to succeed.
She noted that “the sales of the properties have milked the local government dry as noting is left for anyone that will take over affairs of the local government.
“This is the first time in the history of Ijumu Local Government when a Council Chairman will sell properties of government just less than a month to end his tenure without giving room for due process.
“The Local Government Secretariat is now empty as tractors distributed by Governor Yahaya Bello to enhance farming and food security including the ones he met have been sold at a ridiculous amount.
“Before his appointment as Administrator in 2016 and subsequent election as Chairman in December 2020, the Local Government will always grade feeder roads but Isah has sold the graders as most rural roads are presently impassable and in a dilapidated condition.
“There is nothing left in the Local Government anymore. Government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, eminent Ijumu personalities must not allow this fraudulent auction which will turn our Local Government to a desert and shadow of its self.
“How will a man sell 70% of government property to himself through proxy?”
She stated that no local government staff benefitted from the exercise and there was no transparency and accountability in the entire process.
Further investigations also revealed that the auction was done in connivance with an auctioneer, Salawu Onimisi.