Barristers & Solicitors
Alleged diversion: Ogun council boss mulls court action, Assembly begins probe

The suspended Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government area of Ogun State, Wale Adedayo, has vowed to challenge his suspension by the councillors of the local government, even if he would have to take legal action against it.

This is as the Ogun State House of Assembly on Thursday summoned the State Accountant-General as well as all members of the Joint Account Allocations Committee to appear before it over the current issues regarding the alleged diversion of local government funds in the state.

Seven councillors of the local government led by their leader, Fasheyi Adesuji, from Itele Ward 7 had amid tight security on Thursday morning, suspended the embattled council boss for three months over alleged maladministration and financial mismanagement.

The lawmakers had listed about 15 financial infractions against the LG boss, including using N8.2m to procure 20 tables and chairs for the primary schools, as well as misappropriation of N35m among others.

Reacting to the suspension, Adedayo exclusively told The PUNCH that he would use every legal means to fight the allegations against him.

He described the financial allegations raised by the councilors against him as baseless and untrue.

He stressed that he did not have access to the local government’s account and such money could not be taken without following due process.

While insisting that his council did not have up to a million naira in its account, Adedayo noted that he already anticipated his suspension and impeachment even before it happened.

According to him, all they are saying is just a way of fighting back, and all those ones I have expected it. I am not afraid of any of what is happening because I anticipated it.

He further said, “Like people say when you fight corruption, corruption will fight back. They are claiming I embezzled N100m or whatever. Where is the money to be embezzled? Does the council even have up to N1m in its account? So, where am I going to get that kind of money?

“There is no local government chairman that can sign a cheque. I don’t sign cheques, I can’t just walk into a bank and ask them to give me money or sit on my own that says an amount of money should be taken out of the local government purse, that is not possible.

“There are processes for money to go out of the council.

“The suspension is not something one is not expecting. I was even expecting an impeachment or dissolution of the council. And I am definitely going to take it up even if it is in the court.”

Asked about his petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Adedayo said, “The issue is out of my hands, I have sent a letter to them, it is left for the EFCC to do their job. It is not me that will tell them to do their job, the case is not in mind.

“I have written to former governor Olusegun Osoba. That letter has gone to him and I am sure that the old man is working on it too. I may not know how he is working on it, but I know that he is working on it right now.”

The PUNCH reports that Mr Adedayo had dragged Abiodun before the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, demanding the investigation of the governor over alleged mismanagement of local government funds.

Adedayo accused Abiodun of withholding the statutory Federal Allocation due to the state’s local governments in the last two years.

The council boss in the petition, a copy of the petition published in The PUNCH on Wednesday, also accused the governor of denying the local government chairmen of the Ecological fund and other entitlements due to them.

Meanwhile, the Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr Olakunle Oluomo on Thursday summoned the State Accountant-General as well as all members of the JAAC over the contentious issue regarding local government funds diversion in the state.

The Speaker issued the invite during plenary in Abeokuta noting that those invited should appear on Friday by 1 pm.

He noted that the reason for the invitation was for a thorough explanation to the House on what was happening at the local governments so that the people of the state could be fully briefed.

He added that the meeting would allow the House of Assembly to know what was happening and thereafter take necessary action.

“We have the power to investigate what’s happening in our state and then do the needful.

“But I want to appeal to those that are concerned to please let’s maintain law, peace, and order in our various places, particularly in Ijebu East local government where I heard that protests are going on.

“Everyone should calm down and allow us to do our job.

“I hereby invite the Accountant-General of the state and all members of the Joint Account Allocations Committee to appear before the House on Friday by 1pm.

“They are to come and explain to the House what exactly is happening so that the people of the state shall be fully briefed,” he said.