By Simon Ebegbulem & Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—The crisis rocking Ovia South West Local Government Area, Edo State over the suspension of its chairman, Morrison Ogunrobo, and Secretary, Oyomire Idahosa has taken a twist with soldiers and policemen allegedly invading the council secretariat at Iguobazuwa.
Nine of the 10 council councillors led by its legislative leader, Cletus Atigbi, who addressed newsmen in Benin, yesterday, alleged that the embattled chairman of the council had deployed thugs and some security agents to intimidate, harass and prevent them from sitting in Iguobazuwa, the council headquarters.
But the chairman and five other councillors, described the suspension as illegal, alleging that the councillors were acting the script of a political leader from the area who was alleged to have induced them monetarily to sack the chairman.
Also, reacting, Secretary of the council, Oyo Idahosa, described the alleged deployment of security men to the council headquarters as false and unfounded and an attempt by the councillors and those behind them to heat up the polity.
He described the action of the lawmakers as illegal, saying that it cannot stand. He accused the councillors of usurping the powers of the Edo State House of Assembly.
According to the Secretary, “The councillors don’t have the power to suspend a council chairman and they know it. It is only the Edo State House of Assembly that can suspend the chairman; the councillors can only recommend to the Assembly.
“The allegation is wrong. The councillors have no reason whatsoever to intervene in a matter that is before the state House of Assembly.”
However, leader of the legislative arm, Cletus Atigbi, had while addressing journalists explained that when the House received a petition from the revenue consultant to the council, Dan Owegie (Jnr), they immediately constituted a committee that looked into the petition based on its merit.
Dan who was appointed to collect revenue at Jojo Rock pit at Evbonogbon had claimed that he was ordered to pay cash to the council’s secretary.