BAN ON OPEN GRAZING: ALGON backs Southern govs'

By Chris Ochayi

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has summoned a factional Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, Mr. Alabi Akolade David over alleged misappropriation of N5. 2 billion belonging to the association.

David, whose leadership has been declared illegal by the court, was still undergoing interrogation in the hands of EFCC operatives as at the time of filing this report.

Mr David who leads a faction of ALGON has been locked in a battle of supremacy with the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of ALGON led by the Chairman of Suleja LGA of Niger State, Hon Abdullahi Maje.

Recall that ALGON’s lawyer, Barrister Adeola Adedipe had sent a strong worded petition dated May 5, 2021, to President Muhammadu Buhari, detailing alleged offences committed by Mr. David.

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The petitioner had called on the President to note that Mr David “who parades himself as President of ALGON, is not qualified to be so, by virtue of Section 5 of the ALGON’s Constitution [attached]. The said Mr. Alabi Akolade David, is not the Chairman of any Local Government Area in Nigeria.

According to the petition, “It has become imperative to file this Petition, bearing in mind that the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, is a very sensitive body, which superintends over the affairs of the 774 constitutionally recognised local government areas, in Nigeria. As such, whoever holds the rudder to ALGON’s ship, should be of concern to all and sundry; especially, at the executive level”.

Meanwhile fresh evidence has emerged on how the leadership under David had shared the sum of over N5. 2 billion belonging to the 774 local government councils in Nigeria. He opened an account with First Bank of Nigeria, with account number: 2034749191 where the fund where funneled to ensure easy access.

Documents available to our correspondent revealed that a letter, purportedly written from the office of the National President of ALGON and signed Mrs. Binta A. Bello had requested the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, to transfer the funds to the new account. In the letter dated April 22, 2020, ALGON under David had pleaded what insiders described as an attempt at facilitating the release of the fund.

According to the letter from ALGON authorising the release of the fund: “To stop the spread this pandemic across the Country and the need to join hands with the Federal Government in tackling the scourge, the beneficiaries of the judgment sum have agreed to contribute 10% of the judgment sum to the account of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for the fight of Coronavirus Nationwide.

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“In the light of the above, I wish to convey their consent and authorise the payment of 10% of the said sum to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the simultaneous release of the balance to ALGON?”

A team of lawyers that were involved in the court case in recovering the sum of N5.2 billion were paid the sum of N250 million as consultancy fees. In a letter written by Greenfield Legal Practitioners, dated October 06, 2020 and addressed to ALGON’s National President and routed through the Association’s Director of Legal Services, Mrs Evan Enekwe, ALGON was reminded to kindly attend the meeting “with evidence of the payment of the sum of N250, 000,000, only being the bill of charges for our professional fees overtime to reconcile same with our records.”

On Wednesday, both Mr. David and the IMC leadership were invited by the Department of Security Services (DSS) to unravel why Mr. David has refused to stop parading himself as National President of ALGON when he is not the chairman of any local government area in Nigeria.

The DSS has been on a hot trail of a petition sent to the Presidency by ALGON’s lawyer, Barrister Adeola Adedipe who had called on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene and stop the rot going on in ALGON.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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