The Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi State, Taofiq Isah has allegedly auctioned properties worth hundreds of millions of naira belonging to the Local Government Area, less than one month to the end of his tenure.
Osun Defender gathered that following the freezing of state and local government accounts by the Governor, Alhaji Yayaha Bello, last week, various items belonging to the local government area ranging from motor vehicles, typewriters, motorcycles, furniture, cooking utensils, mowers and other items were put up for sale to raise funds for the council.
The allegedly sold items according to sources, included: two Toyota Corolla, 1.8 salon 2014, a Toyota Camry salon, a Toyota Hummer Hiace Bus belonging to the Legislative Council, a Toyota Hiace Conference bus and that of the NULGE, a Toyota Camry Salon Car Envelope, 2 Toyota Sienna, Ford Hilux Vans, Ford Jeep, Toyota Pick Up Van, Quiqui, Dyna Van and other vehicles.
Other government valuables alleged to have been sold are; ploughs, harrows, tractor scrap, tractors (Ursus 4512), MF3755, new Holland, 2 cat graders 120G and others which were reportedly sold for N16,560,000.
The remaining items, the source said, are four television sets, five standing fans, generators, four refrigerators, typewriters, a motor saw, and so on.
The source noted that “This is the first time in the history of Ijumu Local Government when a Council Chairman will sell properties of Government just less than a month to end his tenure without giving room for due process”.
The medium gathered that the Tractors distributed by the outgoing Governor, including the other councils previously on ground before the chairman came on board have equally been allegedly sold at ridiculous amounts.
“Before he was appointed an Administrator in 2016 and subsequent election as Chairman in 2020, the Local Government always graded the feeder roads but Isah has sold the graders and now, many of the rural roads are presently impassable and in a dilapidated condition.
“The alleged fraudulent auction activities were done in connivance with an auctioneer, Salawu Onimisi from Kogi Central,” the source alleged further.
A staff of the Local Government who spoke on condition of anonymity appealed to the state governor to direct refund of funds collected during the exercise.
He added that the entire Local Government would be empty if the auctioning continues and is allowed to sail through.
He said, “There is nothing left in the local government anymore. The Government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello and eminent Ijumu personalities must not allow this fraudulent auction, which will turn our Local Government into a desert and shadow of itself to succeed.
“How will a man sell 70 per cent of government property to himself through proxy?”
But reacting, the Chairman said the items sold were moribund items with little or no economic value to the Council.
A statement issued by the Chairman’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Othman Hamidu, clarified that the property sold were moribound, adding that the sale was handled by a professional and reputable auctioneer
The statement read in parts, “It is a known fact that the assets have become moribund over the years and impacting on the local government’s lean resources can be auctioned out at a specified amount determined by auctioneers and money gotten remitted to the Local Government’s account,” he said.
Kazeem Badmus is a graduate of Mass Communication with years of experience. A professional in journalism and media writing, Kazeem prioritses accuracy and factual reportage of issues. He is also a dexterous finder of the truth with conscious delivery of unbiased and development oriented stories.