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Ogun Local Govt chairmen accuse Abiodun of diverting, spending LG funds

The state chapter of Ogun of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has accused Governor Dapo Abiodun of spending funds belonging to the 20 local governments of the state without “approval” of the presidents-elect.

This charge was contained in a declaration jointly signed by the Hon. Trio. Kunle Folarin, the president; Alhaji Rasaq Adeagbo, president of Senator Ogun West and Hon. Femi Kafaru, president of the East Ogun senator.

The 8th Chamber of the Ogun State Assembly, under the leadership of the former president, Suraj Adekunbi, issued a resolution on 3 May 2019 suspending all political officials in the 20 areas of local government and 37 areas of development of the local council .

According to the resolution, the state governor, Abiodun, froze all of LG’s LG and LCDA accounts, while the presidents were also asked to present their bank verification numbers (BVN).

Latest Nigeria News has learned that since then the accounts have been unfrozen since the heads of local administrations (HOLGA) currently manage LG and LCDA.

Therefore, the presidents in their statement stated that they had informed Tuesday at the Ogun State Assembly meeting that they had not received any subsidies or assignments from the Abiodun government since they took office on 29 May.

The presidents also stated that “all the expenses in the bank accounts of LG and LCDA in the last two months have been authorized by Governor Dapo Abiodun without the approval of the presidents-elect of LG and LCDA”.

It should be remembered that the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) had warned state governors not to manipulate local government funds anymore.

The NFIU said that, in line with the 1999 constitution, no debt would be allowed in any local government fund as of June 1, 2019 until the money is credited to the receiving local government.

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The agency said that the decision was made to protect local government allocations and promised to deal with individuals, banks or companies that favor the diversion of local government funds.

One of the suspended LG presidents, who spoke with Latestalert anonymously, said the governor violated the NFIU regulations by approving funds belonging to LG and LCDA.

The suspended LG boss said “it will be illegal for Gov Abiodun to spend any money from LG account, and nobody can do so without the chairmen signing off, because we are still the democratically elected Chairmen till October 20, 2019.”

He, however, said the governor had paid their May and June salaries, despite their suspension.

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 for the sum of N500m as damages for the infringement on their fundamental rights.

Meanwhile, efforts to get Gov Abiodun’s reactions to the suspended LG and LCDA Chairmen’s allegations through his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, have been unsuccessful as he did not reply messages sent to him.

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