The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, on Thursday ordered the state Ministry of Justice, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to commence criminal proceedings against the sacked local council chiefs who had been accused of corruption.
The governor gave the order while swearing-in the new chairman for Esan West Local Government Area, Mrs. Ruth Osahon, at the Government House in Benin City.
Obaseki, who insisted that he would not turn a blind eye to corrupt practices at the local council level, said: “We have seen a trend where a few local council chairmen have not lived up to expectations. As a government that is people-focused and has made a promise to the people, we will not be afraid to make the right decisions where necessary.”
The governor urged the new council chairman to cooperate with the relevant authorities as they carry out an investigation into the records of the sacked chairman of the council, Patrick Aguinede.
According to him, it is disheartening that the council with so much economic activity was among those with backlog of unpaid workers’ salaries.
The governor also charged Osahon to ensure the payment of workers’ salary arrears within 12 months.
Obaseki added: “Esan West LGA should be able to pay its workforce as it hosts a state university, which attracts a lot of business activities. There is no justification for Esan West local council not be able to collect enough revenue to pay salaries and pensions and carry out other activities as a council.”
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