Following claims that Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun stole local government monies, the Legislative Council of the state’s Ijebu East Local Government Area dismissed the Council Chairman, Mr Wale Adedayo, for three months yesterday for what it termed as financial maladministration.
In a letter headlined ‘Financial maladministration of Mr Wale Adedayo as Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, Ogbere in Ijebu,’ the Council legislators stated that they received various charges against the embattled chairman.
The letter, signed by the Leader of the House and six other Councillors, asked Mr Adedayo to give over all Council property in his possession to the Council Vice Chairman.
The Councillors also stated that the three-month suspension will allow them to conduct an investigation into the Chairman.
Alleged financial mismanagement
Some of the allegations levelled against Mr Adedayo include: the Chairman withdrawing millions from the local government account for empowerment in 2022, but no empowerment has occurred to date; a waste of N2 million on August 20, 2022, on the Isese festival; a duty tour allowance of N250,000 for the Chairman and other top functionaries in June 2023, and another duty tour allowance of N250,000 for the Chairman and other top officials engagement.
It was also claimed that “the Chairman allegedly spent N426,000 on the production of a report on the 2020 Jigbo festival in Ijebu East when we had yet to be elected, inauguration expenses of Women in Politics in Ijebu East LG N350,000 in 2022, but no money was released to the women group.”
“N350,000 for entertainment and other logistics expenses during the Legislative Building’s commissioning on April 18, 2023.”
Another entertainment on the same commissioning of the Legislative Building N295, 000 on April 18, 2023 was also accused.
“The second N8.2 million sent from phase 2 of the project (tables and chairs for schools) was used to make 20 chairs.”
“Another N20 million sent by the state has gone missing.”
“Another N15 million sent by the state went in the same direction, with no project to show for it.”
“Award of two boreholes at a scandalous price of N1.8 million each, for a total of N3.6 million in August 2023 for just two boreholes.” While he earns N3 million in monthly security votes, he has held on to the Vice Chairman’s N300,000 monthly security vote for approximately five months. He has refused to pay, despite several interventions and meetings on the issue by the ALGON Executives, led by Mr Tunde Gazal, and the inability to account for over N2.5 million left in the council’s project account by the previous administration for the completion of a school at Kajola, Ogbere, which remains unfinished to this day.”
Mr Adedayo was also accused of illegally collecting taxes from Ijebu East Okada riders and drivers through what he dubbed a “levy” without the authority of the Legislative Council, resulting in double taxation for the people of Ijebu East during this difficult time.
“Having received the above allegations, there is a need for the House to conduct a thorough investigation,” the letter states. As a result, the House resolved that the Chairman step aside for the appropriate conduct of investigations.
“The Council Chairman, Mr Wale Adedayo, is hereby suspended for three months pending the completion of the investigations and is therefore directed to hand over all Council properties in his possession to the Vice Chairman, who will act as Chairman during the Chairman’s suspension as provided for in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”
“The Council Chairman is directed to appear before the House on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at the next sitting of the House.”
“That the Council Treasurer, through the Head of Local Government Administration, HOLGA, provide the House with the Council’s financial/bank statements for the last two years, as well as any other relevant documents and vouchers as the House may require to aid investigations.”
“That the above Resolutions be copied to Ogun State Governor and the Ogun State House of Assembly.”
Allegations against me are without merit—LG boss
In response to his suspension, the embattled chairman called all of the Councillors’ charges against him “baseless and without foundation,” and said that the suspension did not follow due process.
“The suspension or impeachment of a local government chairman should follow due process,” Adedayo stated. The first step is to write me a letter describing the alleged offences.
“Of course, they stormed the Council secretariat with more than 100 armed policemen, thugs, and agberos on Thursday morning.” They expected us to retaliate forcefully, as they had planned. We live in a democratic society. We’ll take them on democratically.
“All of the allegations are baseless and without merit.” They marched the Clerk of the House and the Head of Administration of the local government, HOLGA, to Abeokuta yesterday. So, prior to this morning’s spectacle, we knew what the Governor was up to.
“And as soon as they finished, all of them were loaded into a vehicle and driven to Abeokuta.” Of course, I was told that each person who signed received N1m. We are unconcerned. When the EFCC arrives, the local government’s books can be opened for inspection.”
The Ogun Assembly summons the Accountant-General and members of the JAAC.
Meanwhile, the Ogun House of Assembly called the State Accountant-General and all members of the Joint Account Allocations Committee, JAAC, to testify before it yesterday about local government money in the state.
Mr Olakunle Oluomo, Speaker of the Assembly, issued the invitation at plenary in Abeokuta and urged those called to come before the House by 1 p.m. on August 31.
“The invitation was for a thorough explanation to the House on what was happening at the local governments so that the people of the state could be fully briefed,” Oluomo stated.
“The meeting would allow the House of Assembly to learn what was going on and then take appropriate action.”
“We have the authority to investigate what is going on in our state and then take appropriate action.”
“However, I would like to appeal to those who are concerned to please maintain law, peace, and order in our various locations, particularly in Ijebu East local government, where I have heard that protests are taking place.”
“Everyone should relax and let us do our job.”
“I hereby summon the state’s Accountant-General and all members of the Joint Account Allocations Committee to appear before the House on Friday at 1 p.m.”
“They are to come and explain to the House what is going on so that the people of the state are fully informed.”