By Ovie Okpare
The chairman of Warri North Local Government Council in Delta State, Hon. Smart Asekutu, has been reportedly beaten up by some aggrieved serving councillors of the Warri North Legislative Arm on Sunday morning.
NIGER DELTA TODAY reliably learnt that the councillors numbering 15 (fifteen) stormed the private residence of the embattled chairman in Sapele and attacked him in the presence of some of his family members.
One of the councillors exclusively told our correspondent on Sunday afternoon that the aggrieved lawmakers stormed Asekutu’s home around 6:45am.
It was learnt that the council chairman who hardly visits Koko, the council headquarters except when federal allocation arrived, was accused by the councillors of embezzling council funds running into millions of naira.
The aggrieved councillors further accused the council chairman of failing to embark on projects since assuming office as chairman of the council.
Though Warri North has twenty (20) councillors, 15 of them were said to have embarked on the physical beating and manhandling of the Warri North boss.
Our sources also accused the council chairman of allegedly diverting N25 million recently given to the council to purchase a waste truck by the state government of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa.
It was gathered that while some council chairmen including Uvwie, Warri South, Sapele and few others have purchased their truck, Warri North council alleged that he used the said money to clear water hyacinth in the council.
Sources further alleged that the council chairman was also accused of attempting to divert N144 million council recently received from the federal government under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program known as ‘SURE-P’.
NIGER DELTA TODAY gathered further that the councillors warned Asekutu to stay off the funds during the fisticuff on Sunday morning.
“Nothing is going on in Warri North LGA. No project is going on. The council chairman sits at home with a few officials of the council and disburses money without recourse to due process. He doesn’t come to work except when allocation comes. One can actually count the number of times he had been to Koko. The council is a ghost of itself under him.
“As we speak right now, every council in Delta State is very rich. All councils in the state just received SURE-P funds running into hundreds of millions depending on your production quota. Warri North received N140 million.
“After paying staff salaries, we hear the money is being cornered by the council boss and his cronies. We want the money to be used for the development of the council. We’ll not allow anyone to divert our common wealth”, one of the aggrieved councillors told our correspondent.
Meanwhile, efforts to get official response from the Warri Council chairman, Asekutu, were unsuccessful as repeated calls to his telephone line rang out and SMS sent to him was not replied as of the time of filing this report.
This medium will still make further efforts to ensure Asekutu responds to the allegation of financial recklessness against him in Warri North.