Surulere councillors lock staff out of secretariat

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The councillors allege that the executive arm of the Surulere local government has failed to provide details of the council’s income and expenditure for 2013.

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The dispute between the legislative arm of Surulere Local Government in Lagos State and the executive has taken a dramatic turn as the councillors have locked up the offices of some principal staff in the council.

Angered by the continued failure of the executive to provide details of the council’s income and expenditure for 2013, the councillors locked the offices of the Council Manager, Council Treasurer, among others, a source told PREMIUM TIMES.

“They (the councillors) have refused to pass the budget for 2014 until they see the details of last year’s income and expenditure. Up till now, this year’s budget is yet to be passed,” the source added.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Oluwasegun Ijitola, the Council Leader, he said that due to his position in the council, he does not talk to the media.

“I am the majority leader of the council. If you want to talk to me, you have to go through the chairman. On this issue, I can’t say anything,” Mr. Ijitola added.

Another councillor in the local government identified simply as Mr. Makinde declined to speak on the issue.

“Go and talk to the chairman. He is the head of the local government. He will be able to give you a better information on what is going on,” said Mr. Makinde.

Phone calls to Tajudeen Ajide, the Council Chairman, were not answered and text messages were not responded to.

The councillors and Mr. Ajide have been having a running battle over the management of the local government’s finances.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how last year, the nine councillors in the council, who had resolved to commence impeachment proceedings against Mr. Ajide, petitioned the Lagos State House of Assembly over his alleged financial impropriety.

In the petition dated 14th March, 2013, the councillors accused Mr. Ajide of monumental graft and a “high level of incompetence, callousness, and total disregard for all democratic principles.”

Among the accusations against the council boss included the award of a digital LED screen contract to Dexter Forte Ltd at N41 million.

Although N19 million advance payment had been made since March 2012, the contract was yet to be executed and the mobilization fee yet to be refunded.


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