- increased council’s debt to N406m
By Lanre Adesanya
Owing to recent development,the Sole Administrator (SA) of Oriade Local Council Development Authority (LCDA), Habeeb Aileru may likely be sacked before his tenure lapse,as the Lagos State House of Assembly has found him wanting over an alleged misappropriation of council funds, disobedience of local council laws and flagrant disregard of the governor’s directives.
The House stated this yesterday at plenary after listening to the complaints of the chairman, Committee on Public Accounts (Local), Hon. Bisi Yusuf about series of misdeamenour of Aileru since he became the SA of the LCDA as discovered in the state Auditor- General report the committee is currently working on.
According to Yusuf, there was a clear directive as contained in the law that authorises the SA’s administration when they were sworn-in that they must not embark on new projects but rather that they should settle outstanding debts of the council to make take-of for the incoming elected council administration seamless.
But Aileru who was indicted by the Auditor-General report went ahead to embark on new projects and instead of settling outstanding debt has indeed within three months increased the debt for the LCDA from N285m to 406m.
“Against the directive of the governor that collection of revenue by local council should not be contracted out, Aileru single handedly appointed a contractor to collect revenue for Oriade LCDA, without the involvement or knowledge of the management of the council, even when he was cautioned he said as SA he can do and undo.
“The council chairman wrote him severally to disengage the contractor but the SA refused and the contractor is still collecting revenue and nobody knows where the revenue is paid into. A total of about N17.8m IGR of the council has been diverted to only where Aileru knows”, Yusuf said.
He told the House that the committee is recommending that Aileru be suspended immediately so that he does not incur more debt for the council and that he should be investigated and prosecuted if found guilty, and also disregarding council laws.
Other lawmakers who contributed to debate condemned the attitude of the SA calling for his immediate suspension.
The appropriation committee chairman, Hon. Rotimi Olowo called for Aileru’s arrest “because he has changed the structure of the appropriation law.”
A member of the public account committee (local), Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso said the height of irresponsible misappropriation of funds and flagrant disregard of the directives of the state perpetrated by the SA has never been seen.
“He has turned Oriade LCDA to his personal business like a sole ownership business, he does things without the knowledge of the council chairman, he does not know what the law or what the governor’s directives are, he has failed as a sole administrator and he should go back to school. The money he misappropriated is too much to be overlooked and it is all in Auditor-General’s report,” Tejuoso said.
While the chairman, committee on information, Hon. Tunde Braimoh decried putting misfits in position of responsibility and said “he should be dealt with to erase the notion in some quarters that we are running a paddy-paddy government”.
And the Majority Leader, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade added that the Auditor-General report has indicted the SA and he has to be suspended before he incurs more debt to serve as a deterrent to others.
The Speaker Rt. Hon.Mudashiru Obasa noted that, “now we step it aside as a report then we come back to revisit it when we have done necessary things so I agree with you Habeed should go and Habeeb will go,but we should step down the discussion for now”.