The Lagos State House of Assembly, on Tuesday, directed Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to effect the immediate removal from office the Sole Administrator of Oriade Local Council Development Authority (LCDA), Habib Aileru.
Alieru’s removal call was sequel to alleged misappropriation of council funds, disobedience of local council laws and flagrant disregard of the governor’s directives.
This became the resolution of the House plenary after listening to the complaints of the chairman, committee on public accounts (local), Hon. Bisi Yusuf, over series of misdemeanours of the embattled Aileru since he became the Sole Administrator of the LCDA as discovered in the state Auditor- General report which 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 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 406 million.
“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 manager wrote to 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. Yusuf informed the House that the committee has recommended 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 for disregarding council laws.
Lawmakers who contributed to the debate condemned the attitude of the SA and called for his immediate suspension. Hon. Rotimi Olowo who chairs the appropriation committee of the House called for Aileru’s arrest saying he has changed the structure of the appropriation law. Hon. Adefunmilayo Tejuoso who expressed surprise at the actions of the SA 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 manager 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.
Decrying putting what he called misfits into positions of responsibility, Hon. Tunde Braimoh, who chairs the House committee on Information said “he should be dealt with to erase the notion in some quarters that we are running a paddy-paddy government.” 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.