Lagos Assembly calls for suspension of council chief

Lagos State House of Assembly
Lagos State House of Assembly

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday called on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to suspend Habeeb Aileru, the Sole Administrator of Oriade Local Council Development Area, LCDA, over alleged financial misappropriation.

The House frowned at the sole administrator’s alleged disobedience of extant financial laws and flagrant disregard of the governor’s directives.

This followed a complaint and motion by the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts (Local), Bisi Yusuff, alleging that Mr. Aileru had been reckless with the council’s finances.

The motion for suspension was seconded by Richard Kasunmu, the Chairman, House Committee on Youth and Social Development.

Mr. Yusuff said that the recklessness was discovered in the state Auditor-General’s report the committee was currently working on.

In his prayer, Mr. Yusuff said: “This House calls on the Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode to remove Mr. Habeeb Aileru, the Sole Administrator of Oriade LCDA with immediate effect.”

Raising the issue in the preceding plenary session on July 4, Mr. Yusuff had accused Mr. Aileru of not following the clear directive when he was sworn-in along with others not to embark on new projects.

He had explained that the directive was to make the take-off of the incoming elected council administration seamless.

Mr. Yusuff said that Mr. Aileru, who was indicted by the Auditor-General report, went ahead to embark on new projects instead of settling outstanding debt.

The chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts alleged that within three months in office, Mr. Aileru increased the debt of the LCDA from N285 million to N406 million.

He also alleged that the sole administrator had appointed a contractor to collect revenue, ignoring a directive by the governor against such practice, resulting in diversion of council funds.

According to him, his committee is recommending that Mr. Aileru be suspended immediately so that he does not incur more debt for the council.

The lawmakers took turns to condemn the attitude of Mr. Aileru and called for his immediate suspension.

Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, a member of the Public Account Committee (Local), condemned the alleged misappropriation of funds and flagrant disregard of the directives of the state perpetrated by Aileru.

“The money he misappropriated is too much to be overlooked and it is all in Auditor-General’s report,” Mrs. Tejuosho said.

Also, Tunde Braimoh, the Chairman, House Committee on Information said: “He should be dealt with to erase the notion in some quarters that we are running a `paddy-paddy’ government”.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa said that such suspension would serve as deterrent to others and put all on their toes.

“I agree with your submissions; if we look at the infractions performed by Aileru. Officials around him (Aileru) cannot be exonerated also.

“I adopt your position that Mr Habeeb Aileru should step aside to ensure discipline,” he said.

The speaker, who conducted a voice vote, endorsed the suspension of Aileru, and directed the Clerk of the House, Azeez Sanni to communicate same to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

Earlier, a group of youth from the council, led by Tajudeen Yusuf, staged a protest to the House, urging the Assembly to suspend Mr. Aileru over alleged embarrassment caused to the party.

Mr. Yusuf said that Mr. Aileru had plunged the council into debt and caused division in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the council area.

He said that only the removal of the council boss could redeem the fortune of the party in the forthcoming July 22 local government polls.

(NAN)


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