AFIJIO, Nigeria – The Afijio Local Government Legislative Arm of Oyo State has suspended its Vice Chairman, Oluwatoyin Abiona, and three councillors over allegations of misappropriation of funds and abuse of power.
The resolution, led by the House’s leader Ajao Oladipupo, was made public on Saturday, September 9, 2023.
The document directs Abiona and the accused councillors to immediately step down from their roles.
“The House is suspending the Vice Chairman, Abiona, for alleged misappropriation of funds, misuse of power, and breach of community peace that has led to civil unrest in the local government, among other issues,” the resolution stated.
The suspended councillors are Oguntoyinbo John, representing Ward 7 in Awe; Babatunde Adebunmi, representing Ward 8 in Akinmorin/Jobele; and Ajayi Sunday, representing Ward 2 in Jobele.
The trio is accused of instigating an attack on the legislative building and encouraging thugs to disrupt official House activities, including stealing the House symbol.
Contacted for comment, Abiona refuted the allegations and the validity of the suspension.
“It’s a lie. They cannot suspend me or those councillors because they did not form the number of required councillors to suspend either of us. They did not form that quorum. We have ten councillors in our local government,” she insisted.
Abiona also claimed that she was not called for interrogation nor was any committee set up to investigate the allegations against her.
“They cannot suspend me just like that. There was no due process,” she added.
The suspension has sparked debate about governance and corruption within local administrations, highlighting the tensions that often exist between different branches of government.
Questions are being raised about whether the suspension was carried out according to the legal framework and whether adequate investigation preceded the drastic action.
The unfolding scandal in Afijio Local Government brings attention to a broader issue of alleged corruption and misuse of power in Nigerian local governments, prompting citizens and anti-corruption agencies to call for more stringent checks and transparency in local governance.