Report on Interest

Lagos council boss, lawmakers in face-off over financial misappropriation

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Barely a year after elections, Lagos State has started witnessing some developments which were hitherto considered alien to Lagos, the state which is under All Progressives Congress (APC) control, does not pretend over its exercising firm grip over its 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas.

Specifically, the 57 Councils run fairly smoothly with a good rapport between chairmen and councilors but for Ikorodu-West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), the harmonious relationship within that tier of government has ceased.

In fact, there is bad blood between the legislators, executive arm of government, over alleged misappropriation of funds and non-payment of entitlements, which led to lawmakers barring council Chairman, Jumoke Jimbo-Ademehin, from entering her office.

To bar the chairman and her staff from been able to perform their duties, the lawmakers placed the council maze, ‘the symbol of authority’ at entrance her office, to further express their intention over alleged financial mismanagement.

As if that was not enough, the enraged councilors led by Wasiu Olomu have also barricaded the secretariat entrance, putting on hold commercial activities at the secretariat.

One of the councilors, who do not want his name in print, alleged that the chairman has performed poorly and also insensitive to the councilors’ and staffs’ welfare.

He said, ” councillors are not happy with the Chairman’s failure to pay our entitlements. For two years, our money is deducted as taxes but not remitted. We have asked reasons for this but there has never been any concrete explanation”.

He stated that series of petitions written to the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs and the House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Community Affairs, explaining current state of things in the council have not yielded any positive result.

A source told our correspondent that the face-off would have degenerate but that intervention of APC leaders in the council has continued to suppress acrimony between both parties over a year ago.

The source said, “the excesses of the Council Chairman needed to be curtailed after all the Councillors were also elected just the way she was elected. They have to work together, but that is not the case here”.

To address the issue, Conference 57, an association of Lagos councils’ chairmen, intervened to cool the issue, and the resolution was met alongside the group’s Publicity Secretary and Chairman of Igbogbo-Bayeiku LCDA, Sesan Daini, who had met with legislators to discuss solutions to the face-off.

Efforts to reach the council chairman proved abortive as all calls put across to her were not answered.

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