With just a few days to the end of his tenure, the Chairman of Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State, Hon. Taofiq Isah has allegedly auctioned properties worth hundreds of millions of Naira belonging to the council.
The chairman, according to a source who does not want his name in print, allegedly sold the items to himself through political allies.
The items allegedly sold out include two Toyota Corolla, 1.8 Salon 2014, Toyota Camry Salon, Toyota Hummer Hiace Bus belonging to the Legislative Council, Toyota Hiace Conference bus and that of NULGE, Toyota Camry Salon Car Envelope, 2 Toyota Sienna, Ford Hilux Van, Ford Jeep, Toyota Pick Up Van, Quiqui, Dyna Van and other vehicles.
Other items are government valuables such as ploughs, harrows, tractor scrap, tractors (Ursus 4512), MF3755, new Holland, 2 CAT graders 120G and others sold at N16,560,000.
The remaining items, the source said, are four television sets, five standing fans, generators, four refrigerators and typewriters.
According to the source, “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 source further revealed that the Local Government Secretariat is now empty as tractors distributed by the Governor Yahaya Bello to enhance farming and food security have been allegedly sold at a ridiculous amounts.
“Before his appointment as Administrator in 2016 and subsequent election as Chairman in 2020, the Local Government will always grade feeder roads but Isah has sold the Graders as most rural roads are presently impassable and in a dilapidated condition.
“The alleged fraudulent auction was done in connivance with an Auctioneer, Salawu Onimisi from Kogi Central,” the source added.
A Staff of the Local Government who also pleaded anonymity because she was not mandated to speak, urged the governor to reverse the auction and direct refund of funds collected in the exercise.
She stated further that no Local Government Staff benefitted from the exercise and there was no transparency and accountability in the entire process.
However, when contacted, the Special Adviser to Ijumu Local Government Chairmen on Media, Othman Hamidu, debunked the allegations levelled against his principal.
He described the allegation as mischievous.
The media aide said, ” As far as we are concerned in Ijumu Local Government, there is nothing of such. We just finished our gubernatorial off-cycle election in Kogi State and I can tell you for the past three to four months, we have been battling with electioneering activities going to the election.
” So nobody have the time to auction any government properties. Though, I want to tell you that auctioning is part of government policy. The government can sit and look at obsolete properties and give them out at a specified rate.
“These are done by auctioneers and not by the government. It is always awarded to a consultants or whichever body, it is not done by a singular person. I want to tell you, as far as Ijumu is concern, it is not true.”