By Peter Duru
Makurdi—Benue State House of Assembly, yesterday, approved the suspension of six chairmen and two vice chairmen of local government councils in the state for three months over “gross misconduct, misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.”
Those affected are Mr. Austin Okwoche, Chairman of Oju Local Government; Mrs Juliana Audu, Makurdi; Terdoo Kenti, Kwande, and his vice, Andrew Orvande, as well as Francis Ogwuche of Okpokwu.
Others are Mrs. Beckie Orpin, Gboko; Mrs Comfort Echoda, Agatu, and her vice, Joseph Ngbede.
The House of Assembly took the decision at plenary in Makurdi, following a correspondence from Governor Samuel Ortom, requesting the House to approve their suspension.
Ortom’s correspondence to the House was sequel to petitions from councillors of the affected councils.
According to the correspondence read to members by the Speaker, Mr. Titus Uba, “the request for their suspension was based on the advice of the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Michael Gusa, that the action was necessary to enable investigation into the allegations against the affected chairmen and vice chairmen.”
He also stated that the correspondence was in compliance with provisions of Benue State Local Government Law.