By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”THE Ayoban ha of Benin Kingdom, Chief John Osamede Adun, has backed the suspension of the chairman of Oredo local government council, Mr Mike Ehima, by Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
He also challenged the council boss to explain how he expended over N800million excess crude fund that accrued to the council.
Chief Adun, who is also a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as Ehima, saidÂ though they were both members of the same party, he would not support any action that would be detrimental to the development of the council.
It would be recalled that Governor Oshiomhole suspended Ehima over allegations of misappropriation of council funds and non-payment of salaries to staff of the council.
However, the Ayobanhan, who disassociated himself from the travails of Ehima, while addressing newsmen on the celebration of his 55th birthday, where he donated four tricycles to the less privilege, 25 motorcycles to the best driver of Bob Izua Motors and payment of one year hospital bills of two mentally retarded persons at Psychiatric Hospital Benin City, accused the suspended council chairman of being economical with the truth as regards cash expenditure in the council.
He urged the committee set up by the Governor Adams Oshiomhole to probe him to do a good job.
According to him, â€œ I want to also say that the chairman lied when he said that his problem with twelve councillors in the council, who petitioned him before the EFCC ,started when I refused to pay monthly revenue on my park which he increased from N1million to N7million.
â€œThat particular incident has nothing to do with his problem in the council. This was a case of fraud in the council and the councillors petitioned the EFCC and the governor, so what has that got to do with me?
â€œSo I commend the governor for his concern by suspending the chairman. He should let the world know what he did with the N800 million he received on behalf of the council from the Federation Account during the oil windfall which is what he is being probed for.
â€œI also challenge Ehima to substantiate his claims with documents that he asked me to pay such revenue to the council.Â I was surprised that Ehima yesterday said that I was paying N1million and from N1million to N7million.
â€œThere was nothing like that. There was no day the council asked me to be paying N7 million .
He should go and face the problem that he is having with the council. The problem is not about N1million, the governor is asking him about the money that entered the council and how he expended it and nothing more. He should not drag me into his dirty attitude in the council.â€