The Benue state House of Assembly has suspended six Local Government Area Chairmen for three months during a plenary session on Monday in Makurdi, the state capital. 

Why were they suspended? 

The six chairmen were suspended over alleged misappropriation of public funds and gross misconduct.

The house had received a correspondence from the State Governor, Samuel Ortom, accusing the suspended chairmen of misappropriating local government funds, gross misconduct and abuse of office.

Ortom, in his correspondence, urged the house to approve the suspension of the accused Chairmen. 

Benue state Governor- Samuel Ortom

In its decision, the House unanimously agreed that the chairmen be suspended for three months while they investigate the allegations against them, saying that their offences were contrary to the Local Government Area Law. 

Who are the suspended chairmen?

The suspended chairmen were that of Oju LGA, Augustine Okwoche, Makurdi LGA, Justina Akange Audu, Kwande LGA, Terdoo Kenti and his vice, Aondowaser Andrew.

Others include the chairmen of Agatu LGA, Comfort Echoda and her vice, Joseph Ngbede, Okpokwu LGA,  Francis Oguche and Gboko LGA, Becky Orpin. 

NAN also reports that all the local government Chairmen suspended are members of the All Progressives Congress. 

What did APC say? 

The APC chapter in Benue state has described the suspension as politically motivated.

According to James Ornguga, the publicity Secretary, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, ” If you say, their suspension is due to financial impropriety, how about that of Buruku local government council Chairman, who is related to the governor. 

“There are more damaging allegations against her but the governor has chosen to sweep them under cover. 

“The Chairman of Apa local government had the same issues against him, but as soon as he decamped from the APC to the PDP, all allegations were dropped. 

“The governor is just being vindictive and punitive just because the Chairmen refused to decamp to the PDP with him; the man is just revealing his true colors, but not to worry, he has but a short time to leave office,” he said. 

On other previous suspensions in the state

Recall that in July 2018, Benue Assembly also suspended eight lawmakers behind the alleged ‘impeachment notice’ served on Governor Ortom on Monday.

Governor Ortom who was an APC member had defected to PDP and it is believed that this move motivated the lawmakers decision to impeach him.

While commenting Ornguga noted that the issue was already being worked on as the matter was already in court.

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