Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki on Thursday instructed the State Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to commence prosecution of council chairmen who were relieved of their offices over corruption allegations.
The governor said this at the swearing-in of a new chairman for Esan West Local Government Area (LGA), Mrs. Ruth Osahon, at Government House in Benin City.
He warned that his administration would not turn a blind eye to corrupt practices at the local council level.
“We have seen a trend where a few local council chairmen have not lived up to expectations. As a government that is people-focused and have made a promise to the people, we will not be afraid to make the right decisions where necessary,” Obaseki warned.
The governor urged the new chairman of Esan West LGA to cooperate with relevant authorities as they carry out an investigation into the records of the previous chairman of the council, Patrick Aguinede, who was sacked over corruption allegations.
He added that it is disheartening that the council with so much economic activity was among councils owing backlog of workers’ salaries.
“Esan West LGA should be able to pay its workforce as it hosts a state university, which attracts a lot of business activity. There is no justification for why Esan West local council should not be able to collect enough revenue to pay salaries and pensions and carry out other activities as a council,” Obaseki added.
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP) in the South East has shown determination to restore power in Imo State to the party in the next election year.
The regional leaders of the PDP disclosed this when they paid a solidarity visit to the Imo State PDP at the party secretariate in Owerri, the state capital.
The National Vice Chairman, South- East of the PDP, Austin Akubondu, who led the delagation said that the recent ruling by the court of appeal on the case of the 27 PDP elected Council chairmen, has clearly shown Imo State is a PDP dominated state and all preparations are on top gear to ensure that the state remains a PDP governed state in the next dispensation.
Mr Akubondu, however condemned the step taken by the Imo state government to stop the council chairmen from resuming their respective offices as directed by the court, he said it is unconstitutional and unacceptable and by this reason, all notable politicians in the party are putting all measures in place to get the council chairmen back to office.
This is the first time Mr Akubondu is visiting Imo state since elected as National Vice chairman of the PDP South East.
Speaking to journalist after the meeting, Mr Akubondu disclosed that the party is putting all necessary measures and reinforcement in place to ensure that the party returns power to the PDP in the next election as their plan is to take over the governance of the state in the next election year.
Meanwhile, out of the three years tenure for the Council Chairmen as constitutionally provided, only two months is remaining for the council bosses to stay in office.