•No cause for alarm —Gov 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 affected persons were suspended for alleged financial recklessness and absence from their duty posts.
But the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, 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 the suspended officials, saying that such communication was expected to detail the offences committed by the administrators.
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 assembly to ask questions on the administration of local government areas in the state.
In his motion, he alleged: “They spend without appropriation. The House must not be undermined and so the five administrators must be suspended to allow for investigation. The secretaries of the local government are to act in their stead.”
Seconding the motion, Honourable Sunday Pedro of Mopa Muro state constituency, said it was high time the assembly started its oversight functions, otherwise members might live to regret it.
Contributing, Honourable Oluwatoyin Lawal of Yagba West state constituency, who also supported the motion, said the doctrine of separation of powers conferred the duty of over sighting the local government areas on the state 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 assembly has however directed the affected administrators to hand over the property of the local governments in their possession to their secretaries, who would 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 were to investigate the allegations and report after four weeks.
However, 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.