Kogi assembly suspends ALGON boss, 4 others •No cause for panic — Bello

The Kogi State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, suspended the state chairman of the Association of  Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Alhaji Taofiq Isa and four other administrators from office over alleged recklessness spending.

While Isa is the chairman of Ijumu local government area, other affected administrators are Mr. Baron Okwoli of Igalamela/Odolu, Mr. Moses Akande of Ogori/Magongo, Mr. Moses Olorunleke of Kabba/Bunu and Mr. Abdulrahim Ohiere of Okehi local government council.

The people were suspended because of alleged financial recklessness and absence from their duty posts.

But the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has said there was no cause for panic over the development in the assembly, assuring that the situation would be brought under control.

The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Petra Onyegbule, said the resolution of the House was yet to be communicated to him as the person who appointed them, saying such communication was expected to detail the offenses committed by the administrators.

However, the suspension of the council bosses followed a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by, Friday Sani, representing Igalamela/Odolu state constituency, saying that it was necessary for the house to ask questions on the administration of local government areas in the state.

The lawmaker accused the affected administrators of perpetually staying in Lokoja, the state capital, instead of performing their primary responsibility.

“They spend without appropriation. The House must not be undermined and so therefore, the five administrators be suspended to allow for investigation. The secretaries of the local government are to act in their stead,” he moved.

Seconding the motion, Sunday Pedro of Mopa Muro state constituency, said it was high time the house started its oversight functions otherwise members might live to regret it.

Contributing, Oluwatoyin Lawal of Yagba West state constituency, who also supported the motion, said the doctrine of separation of power confers the duty of over sighting the local government areas on the State House of Assembly.

However, the member representing Okehi state constituency, Sani Kekere, opposed the motion, arguing that there was the need to give the people fair hearing before suspending them from office.

The house has however, directed the affected administrators to hand over the property of the local government in their possession and secretaries take over the administration pending the outcome of the investigation, while the house committee on local government and chieftaincy affairs and that of  Public Accounts are to investigate the allegations and report after four weeks.

However, continuing, the governor said he would continue to hold the assembly in high esteem and would never inhibit their operations in respect to the principle of separation of powers.

The statement said: “It is expected that the assembly members will reciprocate the good gesture of the governor by avoiding the temptation of giving room to destructive politics.

Governor Yahaya Bello will continue to work harmoniously with the honourable members of the State House of Assembly.

“It is also worth emphasis here that until such communication is done, the Administrators would not be expected to leave a vacuum in the administration of their respective local government areas”.