By Balkis Tijani.
The Kwara State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, have concluded investigations into alleged misappropriation of council funds levelled against the 16 local government chairmen in the state.
The Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Danladi Salihu who witnessed the final phase of the probe, commended the suspended council chairmen for submitting themselves for interrogation, adding that such acts of compliance was germane to proving their innocence.
Speaking on the chairmen of Ekiti, Irepodun, Ilorin West and Ilorin East local government councils who jettisoned the invitation of the Assembly for questioning, the Speaker described their action as a tactical admittance of guilt.
He said, “It shows they have no record to present to prove their innocence over the allegations leveled against them.
“We are not here to witch-hunt or harass anyone and you can see the process has been civil. It is simple, if you have no skeleton in your cupboards, you should be bold to appear and clear the air before the committee.”
The House Speaker also revealed that the 16 suspended council chairmen are still on the government payroll, which is proof of their temporal suspension.
He queried why the four chairmen who failed to show up for questioning proceeded to court to challenge their suspension when they are still being remunerated, instead of contesting the allegations of impropriety in court.
“You collected your June and July salaries, that shows you are only suspended and nothing more, why can’t they tell the public they are still drawing salaries from the LGs purse?
“You didn’t go to court because you were alleged of financial misappropriation, you only went to court because you were suspended, that is morally low, whatever we do, we should remember posterity and our unborn generations”, he stated.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Abdulgafar Ayinla, however disclosed that the committee has gathered documents and information from the various local governments, except the ones who failed to show up.
Ayinla retorted that the committee will commence oversight to establish facts behind some of the submissions received by various stakeholders during the cause of investigation.