Embattled Chairman of Shiroro LG council, Hon. Suleiman Chukuba

By Akawu Ibrahim

Legislative leader of Shiroro local government council, Hon. Yusuf Aliyu Kato and some political stakeholders in the area, have flayed attempts by some people to bring back the suspended chairman of the council, Hon. Suleiman Chukuba, through the back door.

In an interview with Newsline, the legislative leader said such attempt could disrupt the fragile peace being experienced in the local government and set the stage for more crises.

He said the legislative council had read disturbing news in the media by some politicians trying to de-ligitimised their action of removing the chairman of the council over sundry allegations of misconduct and corruption, explaining that their decision was solely within the confines of the law.

Hon. Yusuf disclosed that by the provisions of the local government law 2012 as amended, in section 31 (2), the council may by two-third majority of all its members, pass a resolution suspending the chairman if he commits an act of gross misconduct.

He went further to explain that in subsection 3, the governor was mandated to, within 14 days of passing the resolution of suspension, set up a committee of three persons of integrity to be headed by a High Court Judge to conduct investigation into the allegations.

He said the governor had complied with the above section by setting up the committee, but had not yet inaugurated it, because both elected and appointed leaders from the local government had pleaded with the governor to allow them reconcile the feuding parties, but which he said have not been successful.

“Our actions were guided by the law and our desire to be patriotic and honest to the people who elected us. The constitution envisaged that a person who occupies an executive position with such powers given to him can abuse it. To avoid such thing happening, it created another arm that can checkmate the executive so that he will not become an emperor,” he fired.

He said 11 out of 14 of the councillors signed the resolution suspending the chairman as provided in the law. He said the law have not provided any condition requiring of them if there was need to suspend the chairman, except that the resolution  must be supported by two-third, which they resoundingly fulfilled.

He said the Vice chairman had already taken over as Acting chairman to avoid a vacuum, which he said the law made it automatic. According to him “in section 31 (4) of the local government law as amended in 2012, said where a chairman was suspended in accordance with section 31 (2) of this law, the Vice chairman shall assume the office as Acting chairman.”

The House leader said no where in the law was the House of Assembly invited to act on matters of suspension and removal of chairman or his reinstatement, adding that all those concerned about the fate of the suspended chairman should instead called on the inauguration of the investigation committee so that the matter could be resolved either way.

He said even the world’s most powerful President of America has been put to trial twice and was acquitted, saying “he never said his accusers should abandon their cause, neither was there attempt by his supporters to stop the trial.”

According to him, the vice chairman will continue acting until the investigation panel to be inaugurated soon finds the suspended chairman guilty or acquits him.

The Niger state House of Assembly had, through a motion sponsored by member representing Bosso constituency, Hon. Malik Madaki Bosso, resolved to investigate the political crisis in Shiroro, saying the crisis have affected their image.

The house asked its committee on local government to investigate the matter and report back to the house within seven days.