Kogi deputy governor to sue Bello for withholding salaries since 2017

Kogi State deputy governor, Simon Achuba, has threatened to sue the governor Yahaya Bello for withholding all financial benefits due to his office from 2017 till 2019 if the allowances are not paid within seven days.

“In particular, the statutory allocations approved for the office of the Deputy Governor have been withheld by the state government since 2017,” Achuba’s lawyer Femi Falana said in a letter addressed to the governor.

The backlog of travel allowances, hotel bills, pledges and outstanding monthly imprest and salaries entitled to him amounts to N819,709,980, the letter shows.

Falana described the governor’s refusal to release funds for the deputy governor’s office as an aberration and negation of the country constitution.

“The office is statutorily entitled to the prompt release of all allocations due to it as appropriated by the Kogi State House of Assembly and signed into law as the budget by your Excellency,” Falana said.

Falana also alleged that Bello had consistently refused to give approval for the release of funds for the smooth running of Achuba’s office despite approvals in memos.

He maintained that the “statutory allocations are duly captured in the Kogi state appropriation laws of 2017, 2018, and 2019 supported by various memos sent to the office of governor Bello.

However, the governor through his media aide Kingsley Fanwo said he has no comment to make on the issue.

The Guardian learnt that there had been the governor and his deputy which observers described as Bello’s deliberate effort to frustrate his deputy out of office.

Prior to the petition, Achuba did not speak on the frosty relationship between him and Bello, even when it was reported that electricity and water supply to his office have been erratic since 2017.

Bello’s spokesman maintained that the relationship between the two remains cordial.

He said the story of any crack between him and Achuba was a creation of mischief-makers.