David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has written to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), asking them to suspend paying the revenues for the 21 local government areas in Anambra State to Governor Willie Obiano.
IPAC leadership in Anambra State, at a press briefing yesterday, said the action was to prevent the alleged continuous mismanagement of the fund by the governor, especially as there are no elected local government chairmen and councillors in the state.
Chairman of National Conscience Party in the state and IPAC Director of Media, Mr. Peter Okala, who briefed journalists, alleged that there was fraud in the local government system in Anambra State as the governor has failed to conduct council polls since he came to power in 2014.
“IPAC has written all relevant agencies of government, including the AGF and the FAAC to forthwith withhold the local government funds accruable to Anambra State, while mandating the state accountant general and other agencies in the state to account for the billions of Naira so far received,” he said.
The group said it had also taken other decisive measures that could force the governor to conduct the election.
“Other decisive action taken by our great council is to organise a stakeholders’ meeting, comprising traditional rulers, market leaders, civil society organisations and the mass media to enlighten them on this matter of urgency, and have them become a part of the campaign to stop this nefarious activities at the grassroot,” he added.
The group denied allegations that its members took N15 million each from the state government to look away from asking questions about the non-conduct of local government election in the state.
Reacting to the call for the withholding of local government funds, Anambra State Government described the call as unpatriotic.
Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C. Don Adinuba, in a telephone interview, told journalists that it was wicked for anyone from the state to write to outside agencies to ask that the state be deprived of its funds.
He said: “That matter is still in court as I speak. It is at the Supreme Court. Some people took the state government to the state High Court and won, but we appealed and won and they went to the Supreme Court. So, we are barred from conducting the election until that matter is done with.”
Adinuba described the call by IPAC as the handwork of some fifth-columnists, saying the group should be ignored.