Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has stated that his administration will follow the due process of the law in implementing the report of the Committee set up to investigate and audit the financial transactions of the 23 Local Government Councils.
Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government will abide by the Supreme Court Judgment that State Governors cannot dissolve elected Councils, but noted that the report presented by the committee exposed a scandalous rot in the local Government system.
He spoke on Monday when he received the report of the committee set up to investigate and audit the financial transactions of the 23 Local Government Councils from May 2018 to May 2019 at the Government House Port Harcourt.
He said: “The Supreme Court has said that you cannot dissolve elected councils. We will obey the Supreme Court judgment on that matter.
“But we shall take action on the areas where we are empowered by law to act. All the treasurers, Head Personnel Management and other civil servants involved in illegal financial transactions will be sanctioned.
“I have read the preliminary report. It is bad. The report is scandalous. Tomorrow, they will say that I don’t remember those who fought for me. Did you fight for me, so that you can destroy the system”.
Governor Wike said Local Government Council Chairmen are under obligation to work for their people and deliver dividends of democracy to improve their lives.
“I am quite satisfied with what the committee has done. It is not political and things must be done the right way. We cannot continue to play. The problem with this country is that we take things for granted
“As a Local Government Council Chairman, I created record as a performer. I did projects and worked for our people. I won all the awards.
“If I was going to them to bring money, I wouldn’t get up to set up the committee. They would have indicted me. Some councils take up to N2billion annually and there is a council that gets up to N5billion annually, yet no project”, he said.
The Governor urged Council Chairmen and top government officials to always work to develop their communities and leave worthy legacies.
He commended the Committee for working in line with their terms of reference. He said that they focused on the task without attracting any form of scandal.
“I thank the committee for a job well done. I am quite satisfied with what the committee has done. It is not political and things must be done right. We cannot continue to play. The problem with this country is that we take things for granted”, he said .
The Governor noted that he is not out to witchhunt anyone, but remains committed to the development of Rivers State and the entrenchment of due process.
Earlier, Chairman of the committee set up to investigate and audit the financial transactions of the 23 Local Government Councils from May 2018 to May 2019 and Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo thanked Governor Wike for his commitment to the development of Rivers State.
She said to ensure professionalism, the committee engaged three auditing firms to achieve the right results.
The Deputy Governor said all the Council Chairmen and relevant officials participated in the exercise. According to her, the committee worked in line with best practices for the good of Rivers State.
She said that Local Government Chairmen should see the exercise as a wake up call to work for their people.