Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo State governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has suspended the Chairman of Esan West Local government, Hon. Patrick Aguinede, from office for a period of two months.
Aguinede is the third council chairman to be suspended from office in less than three months.
The State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Monday Osaigbovo, who confirmed the suspension said the action was to allow an investigation into allegations made against the chairman.
He said one of the allegations was that an estate agent petitioned Aguinede that he bought a house for him for N30m and he (Aguinede) refused to pay his agency fees.
Besides, Osaigbovo said Aguinede was alleged not to have remitted complete money collected as Internally Generated Revenue.
“The statistics he gave as the number of tricycles and motorcycles operating in Esan West is 3,000.
“If he collected N150 each from them, that amounts to N9m monthly but Aguinede was remitting only N4.5m.
“The governor always warned us that anybody caught would not only be sacked but be prosecuted.”
Responding to the suspension, Aguinede said he had accepted it in good faith, adding that the issue of buying a house for N30m was not a government matter because he was rich as far back as 1988.
He said he would appear before any panel set up to investigate the allegations.
Recall that Obaseki had earlier suspended the chairmen of Etsako West and East Local governments, Musa Yakson and Alhaji Aremiyau, respectively, from office for alleged corruption.