Benue Assembly defies court, suspends three APC council chairmen

The suspended Chairmen were those of Ogbadibo Local Government Council, James Simon Akola and his Vice, Ameh Eugenia; Mr Denis Akura of Vandeikya Local Government Council; Vitalis Uaah of Gwer East Local Government Council.

Benue House of Assembly on Wednesday approved a three-month suspension of three Local Government Chairmen in the state on account of gross misconduct, corrupt practices and truancy.
The suspended Chairmen were those of Ogbadibo Local Government Council, James Simon Akola and his Vice, Ameh Eugenia; Mr Denis Akura of Vandeikya Local Government Council; Vitalis Uaah of Gwer East Local Government Council.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ogbadibo council boss was suspended for corrupt practices and truancy that of Vandeikya was booted out for financial impropriety and his Gwer counterpart on the grounds of misappropriation of public funds.
NAN reports that the trio were members of the APC and were amongst the 10 local council chairmen that refused to defect to the PDP with Governor Samuel Ortom.
However, their suspension was carried out by a House of Assembly whose leaders have been restrained from sitting by a Makurdi court.
They are facing a charge of contempt at the court.
NAN recalls that the impeached Speaker of the legislature, Terkimbi Ikyange, had dragged the new leadership of the House to court for carrying out the impeachment against him and other leaders.
Ikyange had argued that the House was under adjournment when the members reconvened illegally to effect the leadership change.
He said due process had not been followed and asked the court to quash the suspension and order the restoration of the status quo.
The court had in its ruling by Justice Theresa Igoche, restrained the new leadership of the House from holding its legislative sessions and parading themselves as officers of the House.
However, in defiance to the orders of the court, the House sat on July 11 to screen governor Ortom’s appointees.
Aggrieved by the action of the other faction of the assembly, alleged to be loyal to Ortom, the Ikyange faction filed a case of contempt against them.
The matter is slated for hearing on September 17.
Moving the motion for the suspension of the trio, as requested by Governor Ortom, via a letter to the House, Deputy Speaker, Ehi Ahubi, whose motion was seconded by Christopher Adaji, all PDP members, said the suspension was in accordance with laid down procedures.
Ruling Speaker of the House, Titus Ubah, warned against acts of financial impropriety and said the legislature would not condone it.
He said the suspension was in compliance with the Local Government law, 2007 as amended.

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