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Suspended council chairman hits back Edo Govt

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The suspended chairman of Esan West local government area of ​​Edo state, Hon Patrick Aguinede, responded to the state governor, Godwin Obaseki, for linking his dismissal from the office to corruption.

The affairs commissioner and the local government office, Osaigbovo Monday, said that Aguinede acquired the N30m property and refused to pay the client’s agency tax before suspending it for two months to pave the way for a in-depth investigation into fraud claims and abuse of charges against him.

The commissioner, who recalled that Governor Obaseki had always reaffirmed his zero tolerance for corrupt practices, accused Aguinede of not having handed over to the government coffers the full amount collected as internally generated revenues in the Council.

Patrick Aguinede, who claimed to have accepted his departure from the office in good faith, said that the question of buying a home for N30m was not a problem of the government and should not be a problem of the state government, since he was rich since 1988.

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He said he would appear before any commission set up to investigate the allegations.

According to the Commissioner, one of the charges was that a real estate agent had asked Aguinede to buy a house for N30m and that Aguinede had refused to pay the costs of her agency.

“Aguinede was alleged not to have remitted complete money collected as Internally Generated Revenue.

“The statistics he gave as the number of tricycles and motorcycles operating in Esan West is 3000.

“If he collected N150 each from them, that amounts to N9m monthly but Aguinede was remitting only N4.5m.

“The Governor always warned us that anybody caught would not only be sacked but be prosecuted”.

Aguinede’s suspension made it three chairmen now removed by Governor Obaseki. Others include Alhaji Yakson Musa of Etsako West and Alhaji Aremiyau Momoh of Etsako East.