Ogun LG boss under fires over council funds

Babatunde Emilola-Gazal, the council’s chairman, has been given 48 hours by some Ijebu Ode Local Government Area residents in Ogun State to explain how he has used federal funding for the council since taking office two years ago.

The revelation occurs against the backdrop of a state-wide uproar over a claim made by Wale Adedayo, the chairman of the Ijebu East Local Government Area, that Governor Dapo Abiodun was misusing the allocations.

Council chairpersons in the state hurried to the Government House in Abeokuta last week to defend Governor Abiodun and distance themselves from Mr. Adedayo’s claim under the auspices of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), led by Mr. Emiola-Gazal.

Since then, Mr. Adedayo has been placed on administrative leave by his fellow council members in the Ijebu East LGA due to suspected “financial maladministration” and briefly detained by the State Security Service (SSS).

Nevertheless, some Ijebu Ode LGA citizens appeared to have turned against Mr. Emiola-Gazal as a result of his claim that the governor does not meddle with the administration of council money.

Unidentified people of Ijebu Ode requested that he account for the council’s cash in posters that surfaced in key locations on Thursday night.

“You are hereby given 48 hours to furnish the Ijebus (with) how you spend(sic) the allocations,” the residents said in the note. The local authority will face protests if this is not done. By Citizens with Concern.

Adeola Balogun, a local who commented on the posters, told our publication that he believed the council chief should explain how he was using municipal funds.

“He shouldn’t even have waited for us to ask him before explaining with concrete evidence. For him to have led the protest against what the Ijebu East chairman said, it means he has been receiving his (council’s) allocations and we are interested in knowing how he had spent the money.”

However, Mr. Emilola-Gazal said that the posters were financed by his political rivals in a conversation with our correspondent.

“You are aware of what happened as regards a letter written by Wale Adedayo. He raised issues and also made requests and we had an amicable understanding that the issues should be resolved in-house henceforth.

“We all agreed that internal mechanisms should be explored to solve all issues because what will you gain if we keep dragging ourselves to the media? Even me, I have been maligned, I am being maligned,” he said.

He said he was not bothered by the demand for accountability but queried the point of the ultimatum.

“Giving an account is the easiest thing for me to do but nobody should give me an ultimatum. When it is time we shall come out and explain things.

“But let me just say this, this has been orchestrated by some persons within the local government. Yes! A few of them. I can tell you that authoritatively we have an idea of who they are. They are trying to cause a breach of the peace of the society and the appropriate authorities will take them up.”

Mr. Emiola-Gazal, according to a council worker, hasn’t been in his office since the incident started.

When asked if it was true, the council leader responded:

“Yes, I have stayed away from the office, we shall come out as appropriate at the right time and give account.“

Mr. Adedayo said that Governor Abiodun was misusing state monies for the local government.

The claim was made by the head of the Ijebu East council in a letter to Olusegun Osoba, a former governor of the state and a prominent member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr. Emilola-Gazal brought his other chairpersons to the governor’s office shortly after the letter’s contents were revealed in the media so they could refute Mr. Adedayo’s assertions.

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