By Bolanle Lawal
All the 16 elected local government chairmen and their 177 councillors have been placed on indefinite suspension by the State House of Assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chairman of the House Committee on Information, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, announced the indefinite suspension at a news conference after plenary on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti.
He said the suspension was one of the resolutions adopted after the House had debated on the report submitted to it on the recent investigation into the finances of all the local government councils.
Aribisogan, who said that the suspension would pave the way for a forensic audit of the councils, added that the continued stay in office of the elected officials would obstruct the course of investigation.
According to him, the committee ’s report exposed a great deal of corruption and other sharp practices to the detriment of the people of the council areas.
He alleged that most of the sacked council chairmen awarded white elephant contracts to cronies and friends after which such projects would be executed by direct labour using council equipment.
Aribisogan, however, urged the executive to immediately commence reforms in the administration of the local governments.
He said it was also resolved that appropriate sanctions should be meted to any erring official found culpable.
Aribisogan, who also said the assembly ’s resolution was constitutional, urged all the affected persons to vacate office immediately and hand over government properties in their care to the Directors of Administration.
He dismissed the insinuations in some quarters that the elected officials, who were all members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, were being compelled to join the All Progressives Congress.
NAN reports that the suspended officials were elected about a year ago.