16th December, 2010
For allegedly misappropriating council funds meant for the development of Apa LocalÂ Government Area of Benue State, the council Chairman, Hon. Cornelius Odeje, has beenÂ asked by the Legislative Council to refund over N44m allegedly misappropriated forÂ various projects in the area.
In a resolution signed by the leader of the Apa Legislative Council, Sylvester AmaliÂ and seven other councillors made available to P.M.NEWS on Wednesday, the councillorsÂ claimed that the council chairman has been falsifying data regarding his expenditureÂ since 2008. They also alleged that most projects the chairman claimed he completedÂ were either not executed or partially executed.
They explained that Hon. Odeje has for the past one year, adamantly refused toÂ present income and expenditure account to the legislative council, even though heÂ has continued to expend the councilâ€™s resources.
The local council chairman was also accused of â€œblatant refusal to appear before theÂ House to explain some financial transactions of the local government council whichÂ he carried out, an attitude the councilors described as â€œgross disobedience toÂ constituted authorityâ€.
The Apa Legislative Council stated that it arrived at the resolution after carefullyÂ studying the report of the ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the financialÂ activities of the embattled local council chairman.
In his response, however, Apa local council chairman, Mr. Cornelius Odeje denied anyÂ financial wrongdoing. He told journalists that he had always followed due process inÂ all financial transactions.
Meanwhile, the Benue State House of Assembly has stepped into the impasse byÂ inviting the councillors and the council chairman for a meeting with the HouseÂ Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
â€”Ubong George/ Makurdi