Posted by News Express | 31 December 2020 | 815 times
There is confusion in Niger State over who occupies the chairmanship seat of Shiroro Local Government Area as embattled Chairman of Shiroro Local Government, Comrade Suleiman Chukuba, insists that his alleged removal from office is illegal.
Chukuba is speculated to have been removed from office under circumstances that has remained shrouded in controversy while other sources claimed that he was impeached by the Councillors over alleged misappropriation of Council funds.
But throwing more light into what transpired, the embattled chairman told some journalists who were on a facts finding mission to Kuta, Shiroro Local Government headquarters that he remains substantive Chairman of Shiroro local government council.
Chukuba who received the journalists in his office yesterday said though there were plots by the Legislative arm of the Local Government to impeach him, but that couldn’t stand because they did not follow due process in their conspiracy theory.
There are procedures to impeach an elected chairman or leader but such was not the case, Chukuba said, adding that, “I was never served any notice for suspension which the Legislators alleged to have turned my impeachment to”.
“Regarding the suspension, till now, I have not seen or been served any letter of suspension or impeachment. I am still waiting for it. As you can see I am in the office working that is to tell you that I am still the Chairman of Shiroro Local Government Council.”
This is however coming after the intervention of the Niger State House of Assembly on Tuesday which saw to the reversal of the impeachment motion passed by the Councillors against the Council chairman.
Recall that trouble started in the area when; 11 out of 14 elected Councillors in the Council collected signatures after which they declared him (Chukuba) impeached and had planned to swear-in his Deputy as Chairman before the State House of Assembly intervention.
Chukuba was accused of misappropriating and embezzling substantive part of the Councils’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), a claim he denied insisting that, ‘the council has been bedeviled by insecurity hence revenue wasn’t forth coming in the past seven years’.
“Sometimes in a week, we do not get more than N114, 000, how do you expect the Council to survive on this in a week? Even the departmental programmes, trainings, DTAs in a week is more than N114, 000. Even my DTA is more than that amount. There is no atmosphere in Shiroro that is conducive for market, so no means of generating revenue.”
Also speaking on the N7 million meant for workshop allegedly misappropriated by him, Chukuba explained that there was no cash backing when the approvals was given. He was however quick to add that, ‘when the workshop was finally organized for the Councillors, they refused to attend causing all the funds expended to go down the drain un-utilized’.
“The leaders of the Council approached me and asked me to arrange a workshop for them. It was agreed and we write a letter about their request and N7 million was approved. But there was no cash backing due to a number of challenges we were having and approval takes time. Is that supposed to mean misappropriation?”
Comrade Suleiman Chukuba further explained that, “The workshop is supposed to come up on the 28th and all the necessary logistics have been settled. Everything was on ground, but on the day of the workshop for reasons best known to them, they decided they will not attend the workshop again and without reason.”
It was supposed to be a three-day workshop, he said and the banners are there in the hotel but they were nowhere to be found, adding that, “You accuse me of misappropriating funds when you have collected all the materials for the workshop and did not attend, it does not jell.” (Daily Independent)
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