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Tension in Esan North East as fire guts council secretariat

Councillors pass vote of no confidence in LG boss

By Simon Ebegbulem

BENIN CITY—THERE is tension in Esan North East Local Government Area of Edo State, after fire razed part of the secretariat building of the council few hours after 10 councillors passed a vote of no confidence on the chairman, Mr Sam Oboh.

It was learned that affected part of the secretariat housed sensitive documents relating to contract awards and payment vouchers. The secretariat was set ablaze after the councillors ordered the freezing of the accounts of the council following the vote of no confidence on the chairman.

In a resolution by the 10 councillors,  including their Leader, Michael Anenih and Majority Leader, Chris Ezehiwele, the councillors lamented that the chairman was invited on several occasions to explain contract awards and expenditure in the council but shunned the invitations.

“It will  be recalled that the House watch your activities for some time now and how you have continually manipulated the internally generated revenue of the council for your personal aggrandizement and as a result hereby passes a vote of no confidence on you and freezes the accounts  of the local government,” the resolution read.

The councillors accused the chairman of alleged collection of severance/gratuity  while still in office, collection of IGR up front to 2020, diversion of compensation meant for traders whose shops were burnt and the collection of over-draft from banks without legislative approval.

The letter which was forwarded to banks also alleged financial reckless and abuse of office against the chairman, as they urged all relevant agencies to stop dealing with the chairman until he explains the allegations against him.

But reacting, Oboh who confirmed the fire incident at the council, however, debunked the claim that sensitive documents were burnt in the inferno.

On the vote of no confidence passed on him by the lawmakers and allegation of fraud against him, he denied same, saying it was due to his refusal to purchased vehicles for the councillor that they embarked on campaign of calumny against him.

 


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