From John Adams, Minna
The Niger State House of Assembly has declared as illegal, the continued suspension of the Chairman of Shiroro local government area of the state, Mallam Suleman Chukuba, saying that due process was not followed by the legislative arm of the council before the purported suspension.
In addition to this, the state assembly also said the failure of the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello to constitute a committee to investigate allegations levelled against the suspended Chairman within seven days of the receipt of such petition in accordance with section 31 (2) of the local government law as amended, rendered the suspension null and void.
This is just as over 50 Coalition of Shiroro Associations has called for the immediate reinstatement of the Chairman, describing the allegations of financial misappropriation against him as politically motivated.
The Member representing Bosso constituency in the assembly, Mallam Malik Bosso who made the position of the house known in an interview with newsmen in Minna, pointed out that since the governor failed to constitute any committee to investigate all allegations against the embattled Chairman by the Councillors within seven of the receipt of the petition, “it should be declared null and void. That petition can no longer stand except another petition is brought against him,” he insisted.
According to him, “the position of the local government law is very clear on this. The law says the governor shall set up a committee of not more than three persons of integrity within three days of the receipt of the petition to conduct an investigation into such allegations.
“The petition was submitted to the governor since on the 20th of December 2020 and up till today 10th February, the governor is yet to set up any committee. “There is no way the Chairman can be removed without setting up this committee. He is also entitled to defend himself in person or by legal representation, and all these were not followed”, he said.
He believed that the continued suspension of the Chairman amount to an invitation to chaos, adding “as lawmakers we will not support any act of illegality. He remains the authentic Chairman of the council”.
However, the Coalition of Shiroro Associations, made up of over 50 different Associations from the 15 wards in Shiroro local government area after their town hall meeting at the weekend, declared that the suspension of the Chairman can not stand “because the counsellors failed to follow the due process while carrying their action.
In their resolution after the meeting which was signed by representatives of the 51 different Associations, the resolved that “it is our well-considered resolution that Hon. Suleiman Chukuba be reinstated as the substantive Chairman of Shiroro local government to avoid the breakdown of law and order.”
The Associations however assured that they shall liaise with relevant authorities to see to the fulfilment of other condition which is contained in their resolution.
While commending the Chairman for his efforts in tackling the security challenges in the area due to activities of armed bandits, the Coalition of Shiroro Associations pointed out that they “shall continue to be a watchdog on the activities of the local government, especially to ensure that there is peace and development.”