Confusion As Legislators, LG chair, Party Disagree Over Suspension

Fawaz Adebisi

The suspension of Honorable Adebayo Ayorinde, the Chairman of Abeokuta North Local Government, by the legislative arm in Ogun State has sparked fierce backlash from the All Progressives Congress, APC and the suspended chairman.

PLATFORMTIMES had earlier reported the suspension of Ayorinde as the LG chair by the legislative arm on Wednesday.

While the legislators suspended Ayorinde on allegations of maladministration and unauthorized sales of local government lands, the party backed the LG chairman commending for his performance in office.

The legislative arm made up of councilors in Abeokuta North LG met on Tuesday and resolved to suspend the chairman citing allegations of fraud, chronic absenteeism and obstruction of the legislative council’s functions as grounds for the suspension.

PLATFORMTIMES reports that the sitting which had 10 out of 16 legislators also accused Ayorinde of gross misconduct, with specific charges including the unauthorized sale of a 512-acre land belonging to the local government and neglecting vital repairs to the legislative bus and equipment.

The resolution to suspend Ayorinde was reached during a plenary session held by the council’s legislators at the Legislative Chamber on Tuesday.

A “notice Of Allegations Of Misconduct” signed by 10 Council Lawmakers from the four (4) communities in the Local Government Area, as obtained by PLATFORMTIMES, said Ayorinde stands accused of ‘four punishable offences bothering on high handedness and fraud and thereby contravening Sections 209; 52 (c) and (i) of the Local Governments’ Law of Ogun State.’

The notice as presented before the Abeokuta North Local Government’s House by the Councillor representing ward 6, Hon. Akinbami Mutiu, the Executive Chairman was said to have “surreptitiously sold 512 acres of land which is an asset of the Local Government to a privated estate company under the guise of Private Public Partnership arrangements without remitting the proceeds to the Council’s purse.”

He’s also accused of preventing the legislative arm of the council from performing its functions.

The notice in parts, “zero budget allocation to the office of the House Leader; zero level of accountability and transparency by not rendering to the Council for consideration and debate, monthly statements of income and expenditures as stipulated by Section 52 (c) of the Local Governments’Law of Ogun State.

“Inspite of the above notice of misconduct, I urge this honorable House to speedily transmit a copy of this notice to the appropriate quarters including the office of Mr. Governor for a fair and equitable process of impeachment as enshrined in Section 37 (subsection 1-11) of the local government law of ogun State.”

The legislators ordered that the chairman hands over all the council’s property to Vice Chairman of the council, Hon. Ayoola Oluajo.

Copies of their resolutions were as well forwarded to the Speaker of the State House of Assembly (OGHA), Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo and heads of all the security agencies.

In a swift reaction, the Chairperson of APC in the local government, Alhaja Faidat Sarumi issued a statement firmly opposing the suspension few hours after the announcement.

“I, Alhaja Faidat Akintunde Sarumi, the APC Chairperson, Abeokuta North LG on behalf of the leadership of the party hereby dissociate myself from this purported suspension of Hon. Ayorinde who has performed his duties creditably well, to the best of my knowledge.

“I also urge the aggrieved legislators and their sponsors to give room for peace. We are not accustomed to bringing our leaders down in the name of politics, and we won’t start now.

“Hon. Ayorinde remains the Executive Chairman of Abeokuta North local government. All issues would be addressed accordingly,” Sarumi said.

Reacting through his media aide, Hon. Yusuf Kusimo, Ayorinde asserted that there was no valid reason for such an action, adding that the entire allegation was based on falsehoods.

He raised concerns about the fairness and legitimacy of the process having alleged of not being invited for questioning before the suspension was implemented.

He explained that a suspension would require 2/3 majority of the legislative assembly, but only 10 out of 16 members signed suspension letter, highlighting their lack of understanding of legislative proceedings.

While declaring the purported suspension as an exercise in futility, Ayorinde called residents of the area to disregard the news of his suspension.

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