The Ekiti State House of Assembly has ordered the 16 suspended local government chairmen to refund N3.6 billion allegedly looted from the state treasury.
The lawmakers, at their sitting yesterday, said the order was predicated on the report of a panel, which indicted the council chairmen of mismanaging the cash.
The order was made at the valedictory session of the Fifth Assembly. The Sixth Assembly will be inaugurated by Governor Kayode Fayemi on Thursday.
The Assembly, in a resolution, ordered the suspended chairmen to refund the N3.6 billion into the coffers of the state government and also recommended appropriate sanctions against them.
The resolution was parts of recommendations by the House Committee on Public Account in its report on the local government chairmen, which was adopted by the House.
The report of the panel, which was presented by the member representing Ikere Constituency 2, Mr. Sunday Akinniyi, indicted the suspended LG bosses of contract fraud, abuse of office and lack of accountability.
The former Speaker, Mr. Kola Oluwawole, representing Moba Constituency 1, pleaded for leniency on behalf of the suspended chairmen, but his plea was turned down by the majority of his colleagues.
Oluwawole, like the suspended council chairmen, are members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP members opposed the recommendation for the sanction, claiming that the screening was full of irregularities.
They were, however, overruled by the Speaker, Mr. Adeniran Alagbada, who claimed that the chairmen went too far in their actions.
Alagbada cited example of his council area, Ise/Orun, where over N300 million naira was set aside for the building of secretariat, but the contract was not executed.
Meanwhile, Chairmen and members of three commissions nominated by Governor Kayode Fayemi were screened and confirmed by the House.
The commissions are: House of Assembly Service Commission, Civil Service Commission and State Independent Electoral Commission.
All members of the House of Assembly commission headed by Chief Taiwo Olatubosun were only asked to take a bow and leave having served at one point or the other as members of the House.
The Assembly ratified Justice Jide Aladejana as the chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission and former Head of Service, Mr. Bunmi Famosaya, as the chairman of the Civil Service Commission.
Other members of the commissions also sailed through, “having proven their high level of integrity and diligence to the House”.
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Adapted from The Nation