Thursday, 14 August 2014

Alleged embezzlement: Abak council chairman in big trouble

Alleged embezzlement: Abak council chairman in big trouble
 It is certainly not the best of times for the Chairman of Abak Local Government Area, Hon Joseph Ikpaisong Inyang as he is said to be suffering from multiple headache.

While Mr. Inyang is trying to manage the psychological trauma arising from the shattering episode of his marriage to the Okobo- born Lady, Anyanime that hit the rock recently, the eleven (11) Councilors of the Local Government have unsheathed their swords to deal a deathblow on his administration for alleged embezzlement and lack of transparency. The bone of contention is the inability of the council boss to explain how June and July allocations were spent even while the arrears and allowances for several months are yet to be paid. The chairman is alleged to be elusive when the legislators demand for accountability when no projects have been executed by the council during the period.

A competent source at the council said that after clearance from the state, the council got N82.887m for the month of June and N68 m for July. A source at the payment voucher section (PVS) of the council disclosed that the total monthly wage bill of the Local Government stands at N36m. The council also collects N7.5m as subsidy re-investment empowerment programme (SURE-P) allocation.

The councilors’ anger is not unconnected with non-payment legislative votes, security votes, imprest for 13 months; non-payment of salaries for five months and non-release of fund for ward projects since inception of the administration. Ward projects are alleged to be budgeted for by the council but such funds develop wings form the council treasury without reaching the councilors or their wards. This unpleasant development is said to have stalemated the passage of 2014 budget which the chairman is alleged to be looking for a short-cut without the approval of legislature.  

A source at the council alleged that the chairman does not pick calls as soon as the council gets allocations even as the irate political office holders and civil servants groan over unpaid 5 months salaries.

While the chairman is believed to be funneling the alleged embezzled funds into his state assembly aspiration which he hopes to actualize in 2015. He is also said to be investing enormously in real estate. He is also said to be complaining of lack of funds but his palatial residence under construction at Shelter Afrique raises dust among his councilors. The promise of the empowerment of the youths and renovation of Abak township stadium are yet to be fulfilled.

A political source in Abak said that the irate councilors have conceived an impeachment plot to oust Mr. Inyang who could not be reached for comments as he was said to be out of the country as at time of filing this report.

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