The Benue State House of Assembly on Wednesday recommended the suspension of the 23 local government chairmen in the state over alleged misappropriation of funds.
The Speaker of the House, Aondona Dajoh, announced the recommendation during plenary after a consideration of the report of the adhoc committee set-up to investigate the income and expenditures report forwarded to it by the Governor.
Dajoh said that the suspension became necessary in order to pave the way for smooth and detailed investigation into the income and expenditures of the councils by the House.
The lawmakers also resolved to extend the investigation to cover the whole tenure of the local government councils as they stressed that the three months report into the finances of the councils revealed serious infringements on the financial memorandum of local government and other extant laws governing the management of funds at the third tier of government.
Earlier, Chairman of the adhoc committee, Peter Ipusu, revealed that his committee discovered huge financial misappropriation by the 23 LGs in the state and therefore among other things recommended the House to pass a resolution calling on the governor to suspend all the councils in order to give way for a detailed investigation into the income and expenditures of the councils.
Ipusu’s recommendation was made barely 24-hour after the House on Tuesday set up a three man ad-hoc committee to carry out an investigation into the income and expenditures of the 23 councils of the state.
The committee headed by the member representing Katsina Ala West Constituency, Peter Ipusu, alongside, Manger Manger of Tarka Constituency and Cyril Ekong, representing Oju II Constituency are expected to do a thorough probe.
Speaker of the Assembly, Aondona Dajoh, had announced the setting up of the committee shortly after he read a letter from the governor, dated 20th June and titled, “Forwarding of report of the 23 Local Government Chairmen of Benue from February to April, 2023.”
The letter reads in part, “Following the receipt of the report of income and expenditures of the chairmen of the 23 Local Government Councils themselves on the 14th of June, 2023, I hereby forward the above report to you for investigation and necessary recommendations, please.”
Meanwhile, Paul Biam, who is the Chief of Staff to the governor, signed the letter on behalf of Governor Hyacinth Alia, while the adhoc Committee was directed by the House to report back to the House within the shortest time possible.