By Simon Ebegbulem
BENINâ€”HUNDREDS of mobile policemen yesterday sealed up the premises of Owan West local government council secretariat in Edo State following a court judgment which ordered the council to pay past political office holders in the council their severance allowances and arrears accrued since 1999.
The High Court in Sabongida Ora had delivered a judgment in favour of the past political office holders and urged the council to pay them their allowances.
However, the council appealed the judgment but the court issued an enforcement of judgment dept (writ of fifa) which eventually paralyzed activities in the council.
The armed mobile policemen, who arrived the council at about 10am, locked up all the offices and ordered staff of the council to go home.
But in a swift reaction, Chairman of the council, Mr Dan Asekhame, expressed surprise at the action of the court, explaining that they had earlier settled the matter which, according to him, is still before the Appeal Court.
According to him, â€œthe money is an accumulated thing since 1999 and after they won at the High Court, I paid part of the money, eventhough we still appealed the judgment.
â€œWhat happened was that I explained to them that their money was tied to the excess crude fund which we are still expecting to collect from the state government. I told them to wait until the state government releases the money which is about N18million.
â€œBut I think they did not believe me. They thought I had eaten the money and I even told them to go and cross check with the state government.”