The Association for Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) Ogun State Chapter has accused Governor Dapo Abiodun of spending funds belonging to the 20 Local Governments of the State without the ‘sign off’ of the elected Chairmen.
Concise News understands that the allegation was contained in a statement jointly signed by the trio of the Chairman, Hon. Kunle Folarin, Ogun West Senatorial Chairman, Alhaji Rasaq Adeagbo and Ogun East Senatorial Chairman, Hon. Femi Kafaru.
The eighth Ogun State House of Assembly, under the leadership of former Speaker, Suraj Adekunbi, had on May 3, 2019, issued a resolution suspending all political functionaries at the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas.
Acting on the resolution, the State Governor, Abiodun, froze all LGs and LCDAs’ accounts in Ogun, while the Chairmen were also asked to submit their Bank Verification Numbers BVN).
Recall that the accounts have since been unfrozen as the LGs and LCDAs are currently been run by the Heads of Local Government Administrations (HOLGA).
Therefore, the Chairmen in their statement said they had informed the Ogun State House of Assembly during a meeting on Tuesday that they had not gotten any grant or allocation from the government of Abiodun since he took over on May 29.
The Chairmen also alleged that “all spendings on the LG and LCDA bank accounts in the last two months are being authorized by Gov. Dapo Abiodun without the sign off of the elected LG and LCDA Chairmen.”
It would be recalled that the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) had warned state governors not to tamper with local governments’ funds again.
The NFIU said that in consonance with the 1999 constitution, no debit would be allowed on any local government funds with effect from June 1, 2019, until the money was credited to the receiving local government.
The agency said the decision was taken to protect local government allocations while promising to deal with individuals, banks or companies abetting the diversion of local government funds.
Meanwhile, the LG and LCDA Chairmen have dragged Gov Abiodun and the state House of Assembly before an Abeokuta Federal High Court, asking it to declare their suspension “unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.”
Counsel to the suspended council officials, Monday Ubani, stated that “having unsuccessfully explored several avenues to make Ogun State Government and House Assembly to reverse their suspension, the only option left for them is to approach the court.”
They are also demanding the sum of N500m as damages for the infringement on their fundamental rights.