13th April, 2021
Lagos State House of Assembly has voided the purported suspension of Surulere Local Government Chairman, Tajudeen Ajide.
Nine aggrieved councillors last Friday claimed to have passed a no-confidence vote on the chairman. They would later appoint Ajide’s deputy, Sulaiman Yussuf as ‘acting chairman’.
The councillors are Barakat Akande, David Adebisi, Kehinde Fasasi, Philips Olubunmi, and Ijitola Olusegun. Others are Eric Otinwa, Ajala Ajibola, Kareem Abiodun, and Kazeem Bello.
The feuding parties, on Monday, appeared before the Public Account Committee (for Local Government), led by Hon. Mojeed Fatai.
The committee queried where the councillors derived the power to remove a chairman and instal another. It is said that both councillors and the vice-chairman, who nurses a succession ambition, could defend their actions
Prior, the councillors had released a statement to the media, accusing Ajide of misappropriating N60,000,000. They claimed the chairman expended the money ‘on ongoing construction of Primary Health Centre (PHC), located at Akerele’. The councillors said the extra-spending was unapproved and outside its 2020 budget.
However, the state legislators found the allegation to be false. It was gathered no extra-budgetary spending took place. At the same time, the sum of N160,000,000 originally allocated to the project had not even been exhausted.
“The council manager and his finance director presented documents before the committee that showed no money was missing,” said a staff member of the assembly who pleaded anonymity.
The councillors, moreover, expressed their grouses against the chairman, accusing him of starving them with funds.
One of them (councillors) said his wife fell ill and he sought the council’s assistance but got none. But, the chairman defended he was unaware. He also denied the councillors claim that he denied them of their statutory funds and other benefits.
“The chairman told the committee there are records showing what each councillor gets at any time and none of them denied it,” said the source.
The House committee then urged the chairman to look into the councillors demands.