Misappropriation of funds: Surulere councillors seal Chairman’s office, appoint acting Chair

Uba Group

BY FOLASHADE KEHINDE

THE Surulere local Government Area of Lagos State (Legislative Arm) has sealed the office of suspended Council Chairman, Tajudeen Ajide, over alleged misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.

The Vice-Chairman, Sulaimon Yussuf, was also appointed, in acting capacity, in order to prevent a vacuum in the administration of the affairs of the local government.

The decision to suspend the Chairman and to seal his office, which was said to have been communicated to Area C Police Command, was reportedly taken by all the nine Councillors of the Council.

“Further to our resolution which suspended the Executive Chairman, Mr. Tajudeen Ajide, the Vice-Chairman, Mr. Sulaimon Yussuf, should immediately take over the Administration of the Local Government to prevent a vacuum in Administration of the Local Government,” they said in a statement.

THE POINT had reported that the Legislative Arm of the Surulere Local Government Area had suspended the Chairman of the Council over alleged misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.

The nine Councillors in the Council were said to have unanimously taken the decision to enable them to conclude their investigations.

A statement issued last Friday, at the end of the plenary session, signed by all the Councillors, said the Chairman refused to make available, documents of all contracts from the inception of his administration.

The lawmakers alleged that 95 per cent of the contracts of the Local Government was being executed by two contractors – Olupopson Construction Limited and Serial Touch Limited, adding that the Chairman spent N60million not budgeted for in 2020.

The statement read, “We, hereby, pass a vote of no confidence followed by suspension on the Executive Chairman, Mr Tajudeen Ajide for his refusal to provide needed documents/records to the house to enable the council to carry out its oversight function.

“Our findings show that 95 per cent of the contracts of the Local Government was being executed by two contractors (Olupopson Construction Limited and Serial Touch Limited) while they later executed 90 per cent of the council contracts.

“The Chairman also expended the sum of N60 million which was not budgeted for in the year 2020 on the pretence of variation on the construction of Primary Health Centre at Akerele which is an impeachable offence.

“Bogus and overinflated contracts on the purchase of official vehicles for the legislative Arm which will have a financial burden on the Councillors when boarding. Appropriating funds for the purchase of two buses for the legislative Arms without purchase among other atrocities.”

“In view of the foregoing, Council resolved that since the Chairman was invited on three occasions in 2021 and refused to honour all the invitations, Council, therefore, resolved that the Executive Chairman be suspended from office to enable the Legislative Council to conclude its investigation. Therefore, the Legislative Arm seeks the approval of the House of Assembly for the impeachment of the Local Government Chairman,” the lawmakers stated.

The nine Councillors that signed the letter include Akande Barakat, Adebisi David, Fasasi Ajenifuja, Phillips Emmanuel, Otinwa Eric, Ijitola Emmanuel, Kareem Abiodun, Ajala Yusuf and Kazeem Bello.