Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State yesterday placed a three month suspension on three local government council chairmen of the state for alleged gross misconduct, financial misappropriation and other offenses contrary to local government law.
Those suspended were the chairman of Ogbadibo local government council, James Akola and his deputy, his colleague from Gwer East, Mr. Vitalis Ukwar and that of Vandeikya local government council, Mr. Dennis Akura.
The suspension took effect from yesterday when the Benue State House of Assembly gave approval for the suspension at the conclusion of investigations into the alleged against the affected chairmen as requested by Governor Ortom in a correspondence to the House.
Benue News.org reports that moving the motion for the suspension, the Deputy Speaker, Johnson Ahubi, and the Deputy Majority Leader, Sule Audu said the actions of the affected council chairmen contravened the local government law, 2007 as amended.
Their motions were seconded by Christopher Adaji, Ire Matthew and Joseph Ojobo, members representing Ohimini, Oju and Agatu state constituencies respectively.
The lawmakers in their motion observed that “between January and March most of the monies spent by the affected local chairmen were not properly appropriated and captured in the budget based on section of 145 of the local government law 2007 as amended. Hence their suspension will serve as deterrent to others.”
In his ruling, Speaker of the House, Titus Uba said the decision was reached after thorough investigations into the allegations leveled against the affected chairmen. Uba added that “details of the investigation will soon be made public.”
The speaker who adjourned sitting to next Tuesday said “the House will henceforth take over the administration of Ogbadibo local government council where the chairman and his deputy have been suspended.”