The Niger state House of Assembly has suspended the Chairman of Katcha Local Government Area, Alhaji Mohammed Dogo, for allegedly embezzling over N23.7 million meant for teachers, cooperative deduction and staff salaries.
The allegations against Dogo include abuse of office, fraud and mismanagement of public fund.
The suspension was based on the findings of a panel on financial misappropriation by the House Committee on Local government during its oversight functions to local government councils.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Abdulmalik Muhammad Kabir, said investigations revealed that Dogo had directed the Education Department to release N20.7 million believed to be teachers salaries for personal use.
He added that the chairman also directed the Director of Finance to release N6.5 million to him, but N3 million was deducted, adding that there was evidence that the chairman affirmed to have received the money.
“The letter presented to the Committee signed by the Chairman and accompained with photocopies of Cheques in the name of Alhaji Baba Wusa and Ladan Audu who confessed before the Committee that they have cashed these cheques and gave the money to the Chairman.
“The Director of Finance and Supply and Director of Administration in Katcha local government have testified before the committee and in the presence of the Council Chairman to have offered their Financial and administrative advice but the Chairman insisted and went ahead to use the funds in question.
“The Committee recommends that Katcha local government Chairman be suspended and a Committee be set up to investigate the matter. On the issue of Katcha local government Chairman and from available records and documents, the action of the Chairman is an outright abuse of office, gross misconduct and maladministration. The committee considers this as an act of sheer wickedness meted on the teachers who were denied their legitimate rights.”
The House of Assembly have also called on the state government to ensure that the sum of N23.7 million meant for NUT Cooperative Katcha local government branch is refunded by the Chairman.
The House Committee on Local Government has also directed that all monies belonging to NUT Cooperatives and teachers in Paikoro and katcha local government with the state Ministry of local government and chieftaincy affairs be released.
“The Ministry for local government and chieftaincy affairs is holding N16.6 million belonging to teachers in paikoro local government while the sum of N20.7 belonging to teachers is being held in Katcha by the Ministry.”
The Committee further lamented that most of the local government councils in the state are violating several sections of the local government law.
– The Nation