The protracted face-off between councillors and the chairman of Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta state, Victor Asasa, has taken a new dimension with the councillors accusing the chairman of illegally awarding a N4 million contract for the printing of calendar and monthly imprest of N200,000 to his wife without approval from the legislative arm.
The councillors through their loyalists and constituents had last Thursday protested against the council chairman, Victor Asasa over what they described as “high-handedness, incompetence, absenteeism as well as borrowing without approvals” from the legislative arm among other things.
The protesters shut down the council secretariat, preventing workers from entering their offices while offices including that of the council chairman were locked.
The protesters displayed placards bearing different inscriptions including “We say no to borrowing without approval from the legislators,” “Mike Evivie is not the Isoko South LGC chairman, if he wants to be chairman let him resign,” “Asasa is not fit for the post of a council chairman,” “We say no to running of council without budget for the year 2022,” and “Asasa should be probed for diverting IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) to private accounts.”
Speaking with SaharaReporters on Monday, one of the aggrieved councillors and principal officer of the Isoko South legislative arm, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the protest was put together by the legislative arm following the alleged failure of the council chairman, whom he said had not been to the office for several months.
“As I talk to you, we the councillors are very-very bitter with the council chairman, Victor Asasa. He thinks the council is his personal business. Can you imagine that his wife is a contractor to the local government? He awarded his wife, the contract for the printing of the local government calendar for over N4 million and he also gives his wife that’s not an elected official in the local government a monthly imprest of N200,000 without approval from us, the councillors. Since last Thursday when we protested against the council chairman, pressure has been mounted on us by some of our leaders to disassociate ourselves from the protest.
“But the truth is that what should we do such when the council chairman is running the affairs of the council as his personal estate? He does not come to the office. Anytime you call him, he will tell you he’s in the hospital; always in the hospital but once the monthly allocation comes in, he will call for it. They will carry the salary wage bill to him at Port Harcourt where he’s based. He will sign it there and give instruction for some money to be paid into private bank accounts and does not come to the office.
“He’s not fit to be the chairman of Isoko South; pocketing the council’s Internally Generated Revenue as his own personal money. As we talk, he is running the council without a 2022 budget.
“Asasa borrowed N5 million which the HPM and council treasurer, Ufuoma Aso, signed for him. It was when the money was bringing problems that the treasurer cried out as the council chairman refused to pay back the money. When the last allocation came, the council treasurer confronted the council chairman that they should pay N2 million from the N5 million but Asasa vehemently refused. It was then the treasurer vowed not to sign the cheque for the allocation since the council chairman, Asasa refused to pay N2 million out of the borrowed N5 million. Before we knew what was happening, the council chairman called the chairman of the local government civil service commission in Asaba and the council treasurer was summoned and intimidated.”
It was gathered that the embattled council chairman, Asasa, through the intervention of some leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the council, would be holding a peace meeting on Wednesday with the councillors where he would apologise and beg for forgiveness.
As of the time of filing in this story, Victor Asasa had not answered calls from SaharaReporters nor replied to a text message sent to him.