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We’re not answerable to Makinde’s probe panel ― Sacked Oyo LG Chairmen

The sacked local government Chairmen in Oyo State may have drawn a battle line with the state government over Governor Seyi Makinde’s recent inauguration of a panel to probe its activities.

This followed Sunday’s statement by the All Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) asking the embattled Chairmen, councilors, secretaries, and supervisors to ignore any invitation by the probe panel.

It would be recalled that Makinde had on July 1 inaugurated a seven-man committee to investigate the accounts and finances of the 33 Local Governments (LGs) and 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

The committee constituted is to look into the accounts of the LGs and LCDAs from January 2018 to May 2019, mandated to retrieve all monies traceable to any individual and impound any equipment traceable to any individual.

The committee headed by retired Justice S. L Popoola was given six months to submit its report.

In Sunday’s statement by ALGON Chairman, Abass Aleshinloye, on Sunday, the association argued that it was not answerable to the adhoc committee but only to legally constituted audit committees.

Maintaining that local government councils were regularly audited by auditors from the auditor general office, ALGON said it amounted to illegality for Makinde to set up an adhoc committee to probe local government Chairmen.

It consequently called on chairmen, secretaries, councilors, and supervisors to reject and boycott what it called, “insidious, illegal sitting, and activities of Governor Makinde’s Hangmen panel.”

“By law, a governor cannot probe local government chairmen, just like the president cannot probe a state governor by an Adhoc committee.

“It is only a Governor of illegalities that seeks to dare the hallowed letters of our constitution he swore to uphold. No state Governor in Nigeria has followed this ill-conceived lawless example.

“Accounts of local government councils are regularly audited by the auditors from Auditor general office and its activities are also regularly monitored accordingly.

“We are not answerable to an ad-hoc contraption but to constitutional institutions properly established by law. We shall make ourselves available to legally constituted audit committees, as and when due, after successful completion of all our pending cases in court.

“Our advice to the governor again is that the government is a very serious business, the responsibility and people’s expectations are very high.

“So, it is not for time wasting for any frivolous political gambit after elections. The government runs on laws, not on executive, reckless spontaneity and lawlessness.

No matter who you are, the Law is above you. That is the beauty of constitutional democracy. “In Oyo state, Governor Makinde must submit himself to the law of the land, our constitution and not to turn our dear state into a lawless state,” the statement further read.

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