Barely one month after the impeachment of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and the controversial resignation of his deputy, Bala Ngillari, another gale of impeachment is sweeping some local government councils in the state.
According to reports, two council chairmen are facing impeachment from majority of their councillors on allegations of financial fraud and abuse of oath of office.
Ten of 11 councillors in Mubi North Local Government have handed a 20-point notice of impeachment to the chairman, Sahabo Jauro.
The councillor representing Digil Ward, Bello Sahabi, told journalists that the State House of Assembly has been notified on Friday and that the chairman has seven days to respond.
He accused the chairman of attempting to usurp some of the powers of the legislative arm and of high handedness in running the affairs of the council without recourse to the principles of separation of powers.
Mr. Sahabi said the Legislative Council was committed to asserting its constitutional role of oversight function to ensure compliance with the rule, advising traditional rulers and elders to allow them carry out their responsibilities.
He said lawmakers would ensure compliance with the law throughout the process.
“The chairman operates more like a sole administrator, awarding contracts without council extracts because he has no respect for the law. He should know that the Legislative Council is a house established by law and that we are empowered by the law to carry out over sight functions,” the councillor stated.
The offences allegedly committed by Mr. Jauro, as contained in the impeachment notice, range from diversion of funds, non-payment of workers’ salaries, inflation of contracts sum involving monies worth millions of naira.
It was gathered that the embattled chairman, who had earlier shunned a meeting with the councillors just before the impeachment move, had approached the Emir of Mubi, Abubakar Ahmadu, and some community elders to persuade the councillors to withdraw the notice.
PREMIUM TIMES’ attempts to speak to the chairman were, however, not successful as his phone was switched off up to the time of filing this report.
In a related development, the chairman of Fufore Local Government, Sahabo Gurin, who is also the state chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, denied reports that his councillors were perfecting a plot to impeach him. Eight of 11councillors in Fufore are believed to be in support of Mr. Gurin’s impeachment.
“I have just interacted with the leader and other councillors and there is nothing like that. We had problem before the coming of the present administration in the state but we have resolved our differences”, the chairman said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of Ganye Local Government Council, Farouk Mohammed, was recently served with an impeachment notice for alleged embezzlement of public funds.
The impeachment notice, signed by 10 councillors, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Yola, said “Sequel to the resolution of the legislative council sitting No. 7 of its second session, the House hereby resolved unanimously to serve you with this notice of impeachment.”
Some of the 15 allegations against the chairman include unauthorised collection of bank overdrafts totalling N132 million, an unaccounted N10 million excess crude oil revenue received in December 2013, and short changing political appointees by paying them half of their entitlements after posting full payment in the local government’s cash book.
Other charges include over inflation of direct labour jobs and short changing the local government council of its monthly allocation by slashing down the original amount allocated and presenting distorted figures to the Financial and General Purpose Committee, F&GPC.