By Kolade Larewaju
GOVERNOR Olugbenga Daniel of Ogun State yesterday announced the removal of the leadership of Ijebu East Local Government, headed by Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye and the appointment of a seven-member caretaker committee to manage the affairs of the local government.
The chairman of the caretaker committee, Mr. Michael Agbolade was immediately sworn-in in Abeokuta.
Speaking after the swearing-in, Governor Daniel said his decision was based on the recommendation of the Justice Kayode Somolu Judicial Commission of Inquiry which was set up on 8 December 2009 to probe the mayhem in Ijebu-Ife which left several persons, including the Police Area Commander, Mr. Omolodun Oladokun dead and property destroyed.
Panel indicts Oladunjoye
Governor Daniel said the Commission of Inquiry had in one of its conclusions, said the local government headed by Oladunjoye â€œhas, by its previous conduct and subsequent abdication of duties, become unworthy of the public trust reposed in it.â€
While the Somolu Commission of Inquiry was sitting, Oladunjoye got an injunction from a Federal High Court in Abuja stopping the commission from further sitting and restrained the governor from dissolving the local government leadership.
But announcing the suspension yesterday, Daniel said his action was in accordance with the powers conferred on him under Section 39 of the local government law to suspend the leadership of the council area.
Governor Daniel said, â€œit is public knowledge that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry held its sittings where it took testimonies and received memoranda submitted by various interest groups. It also visited various places where violence erupted in the Ijebu-Ife whereupon it was able to carry out its assignment and determine the reasons for the unfortunate incident.
â€œIt is also public knowledge that instead of the leadership of the affected local government taking advantage of the opportunity offered through the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to give its side of the story known, it deliberately proceeded to Abuja, outside the jurisdiction of the state to procure a court order aimed at frustrating the work of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry and preventing the truth about the mayhem from being publicly exposed.
â€œThe combined effect of these actions went further to worsen the security situation in the local government area rather than ameliorate the tense atmosphere engendered by the mayhem.
â€œIn a bid to further put the Government and Governor-in-Council in odium and disrepute, the Chairman of the Ijebu-East Local Government recently went to town, via press interviews, with the embarrassing falsehood that the State Government and by extension, the Governor-in-Council, was deducting about 200 percent over and above the actual salaries of primary school teachers from the monthly allocations of the local governments in the state, thus rendering the local governments unable to meet their obligations to the teachers who were on strike.â€
Governor Daniel further declared that â€œif the basic cannons of good governance and purposeful leadership were to be used in assessing the conduct and disposition of the leadership of Ijebu-East Local Government in the days before and after the mayhem, we would, without doubt, conclude justifiably that they all performed woefully with their conduct falling short of the collective expectation of the government and people of Ogun State.â€
He then said that he would soon set up a Panel of Inquiry to investigate all the allegations leveled against the leadership of the Local Government
He listed the names of the members of the Caretaker Committee as Mr. Michael Agbolade (Chairman), Mr. Raphael Olaosebikan, Prince Abiodun Odusanya, Omooba Abiodun Badejo, Mr. Adetayo Otusanya, Dr Tunde Onamusi and Otunba [Mrs.] Mojisola Jaiyesimi.