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You Remain Suspended, Benue Gov Replies Aggrieved LG Chairmen

June 24, 2023

Governor Hyacinth Alia of Benue State has the 23 Local Government council chairmen remain suspended until the probe against them is concluded.

He said this while reacting to the claims the council chairmen at a press briefing in Makurdi, the state capital, on Saturday.

At the briefing, the council chairmen vowed not to obey the state government’s directive to quit their offices.

Reacting through his spokesman, Tersoo Kula, Alia said they were suspended for investigation purposes, not sacked.

The governor premised his action on the advice of the state assembly.

He said, “Recall that the Benue State House of Assembly had during plenary session on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, recommended for the suspension of all the 23 local government chairmen as well as their various legislative arms over corruption allegations.

“The recommendations were upheld by the state executive and the chairmen directed to hand over their offices to the various DGSAs of their councils.”

Alia expressed surprise that the council chairmen chose to react the way they did.

He denied knowledge of any court judgment, saying even if there was any, it was merely speculative, especially that a cause of action had not arisen as at the time the chairmen were talking about a court order or judgement.

He said, “So, even if there existed a court order not to sack council chairmen, at least there is none barring anyone from investigating them.

“But are they really insulated from appropriate sanctions by the extant constitutional provisions? They should come to equity with clean hands. Perhaps, they may have been misled into assuming that they are entitled to political immunity as ‘elected’ council chairmen.”

Alia therefore urged the council chairmen to be patient, as they will get the opportunity to defend themselves before the House of Assembly committee.

He stated that those who did not soil their hands would be reinstated but insisted that they remain suspended from office, pending the outcome of the investigation.

(Daily Trust)

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