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Benue: 23 LG chairmen suspended for financial misappropriation

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Benue: 23 LG chairmen suspended for financial misappropriation

Benue House of Assembly has approved the suspension of all the 23 local government (LG) chairmen in the state for financial misappropriation.

The decision to suspend the LG chairmen was taken on Wednesday during plenary following a letter from Gov. Hyacinth Alia, dated June 14, 2023, requesting the house to investigate the incomes and expenditures of the 23 LG chairmen of the state.

In the letter, Gov. Alia informed the house that he had received a report on the incomes and expenditures of the LG chairmen from February to April, 2023, as submitted by themselves and wished the house to investigate it for necessary recommendations.

The Voice Media Trust (VMT NEWS) reports that the Speaker of the house, Mr Hyacinth Dajoh, therefore, set up an Adhoc Committee on June 20, 2023, comprising Mr Peter Ipusu (Katsina-Ala West/APC) as the chairman, Mr Manger Manger (Tarka/APC) and Mr Cyril Ikong (Oju II/APC) as members, to investigate the matter.

The Committee which was directed to investigate and report back to the house within the shortest possible time, expressed worries over the outright disregard of procedure and the crass mismanagement of local government funds by the chairmen during the period under review.

The Committee informed the house that there was the need for a more detailed investigation of the operations of the local government beyond the period under review to cover from June, 2015 to  May, 2023.

The Committee, therefore, recommended the immediate suspension of the Chairmen in all the 23 local government councils and also the legislative councils for conniving with the Executive Councils to mismanage public funds put in their trust.

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After contributions from members in favour of the report, the house unanimously agreed that the chairmen be suspended in order to enable it do the investigation without any interference.

Ruling, the Speaker directed the chairmen to hand over the affairs of their local government councils, all government properties in their possession, including official vehicles, to the Directors-General, Services and Administration (DGSAs) with immediate effect and proceed on suspension, pending the completion of investigation into their account books and other related matters.

The Speaker further directed that the Governor should proceed and set up caretaker committees in line with the Benue Local Government law.

He also requested the Commissioner of Police to ensure a seamless takeover at the various local government  council headquarters without any friction. 

Benue: 23 LG chairmen suspended for financial misappropriation

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