Mismanagement, financial recklessness, abuse of office and misappropriation of public funds were the major reasons Oloruntoba Oke, Chairman of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Area of Lagos State was suspended indefinitely by the state House of Assembly.
The suspension was announced on Friday, 22 November 2019 by the Assembly at its plenary session.
Sources at the local government hinted that the suspension was the outcome of a 5-man Ad-hoc Committee set up by the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt Hon Mudashiru Obasa, to investigate allegations of abuse of office and financial recklessness levelled against the council boss by a group, Concerned Citizens of the Local Government.
The Assembly also ordered the redeployment of the council-manager, treasurer and engineer and directed the Vice Chairman, Mr Usman Hamzat to take over the helms of affairs at the council immediately.
The Ad Hoc Committee headed by Hon. Rotimi Olowo after series of meetings with stakeholders in the local government and assessment tour of the council area, discovered that the suspended Council boss obtained a loan of N350m from Skye Bank now Polaris Bank in 2012 to execute five projects in the Council but the projects for which the loan was obtained have not been completed 7 years after.
It was also observed that all conditions stipulated in the loan as approved by the state Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs were violated and the huge amount expended on the construction of the new secretariat complex did not commensurate with the level of work executed.
All the lawmakers who spoke on the report, agreed with recommendations of the committee to suspend the council boss indefinitely while they all agreed that it would serve as a deterrent to other council bosses who may want to toe the line of Oke.
Deputy Majority Leader, Muyiwa Jimoh said, the error created was as a result of the bureaucracy in local government and that the chairman failed to abide by the administrative guidelines set up by the House.
Abiodun Tobun noted: “from this report, we have observed the heads of the council were working at variance with the law of the council. The council supposed to work in compliance with the State government in making dividends of democracy available to the people,” Tobun said.
According to Bisi Yusuff, “the recommendations of the committee will make some of those who feel untouchable to sit tight.”
The Speaker, confirming the suspension, told the Clerk of the Assembly, Alhaj Azeez Sanni to communicate the decision of the Assembly to the appropriate quarters.