In a resolute move, the Kaduna State House of Assembly has suspended three local government chairmen due to financial mismanagement.
The suspension was announced on Tuesday as a consequence of the chairmen’s improper allocation of contracts, which did not comply with the Kaduna State Public Procurement Law of 2016, Section 35 Subsection 23, requiring due process.
An ad-hoc committee, led by Munirat Sulaiman Tanimu, representing Lere East, conducted a thorough investigation into the financial activities of five local government areas: Chikun, Kaura, Kagarko, Soba, and Birnin Gwari. This investigation was prompted by a resolution passed by the Assembly on July 18, 2023.
Tanimu stated that the committee requested financial documents from the affected chairmen, including bank statements from June 2022 to June 2023, departmental vault account (DVA) records, approved budgets for 2022 and 2023, capital and recurrent expenditures for the respective years, and a list of awarded contracts along with their completion statuses, among other requirements.
After scrutinizing the documents, the committee found that the chairmen of Kaura, Kagarko, and Chikun had violated Section 48 of the Local Government Administration Law of 2018 and Section 35 Subsection 25 of the Kaduna State Public Procurement Law of 2016. These sections emphasize adherence to budget allocations and the state’s public procurement regulations.
Consequently, the committee recommended that the three chairmen be suspended from their offices for six months to allow for further investigation. During this period, they are prohibited from being present at the local government secretariats and must transfer their responsibilities to their respective vice chairmen.
Regarding the chairmen of Birnin Gwari and Soba local governments, the Assembly acknowledged that they were not found to be in violation of any laws. However, they were reprimanded for their failure to procure the approved 2023 budget from the Ministry of Local Government on time.
During the plenary session, House Speaker Yusuf Liman Dahiru stressed that all political office holders must refrain from misappropriating public funds. He issued a stern warning that anyone found guilty would face strict legal consequences without any favoritism.