By Ibrahim Abdul’Aziz
A councillor representing Ngebongun Ward of Lamurde local government area of Adamawa state, Mrs Gloria Istifanus, has accused the council chairman, Mr Vrati Nzonzo, of corrupt practices.
Addressing a press conference in Yola, Istifanus, who is also the secretary of the council Committee on Accounts, Finance and Administration, accused the chairman of victimising her over her uncompromising stand with regard to transparency and accountability.
“I want to put it on record that within the past one year and four months, Lamurde local government council under Vrati Nzonzogenerated over N70 million but over 95 per cent of the money was not remitted into the council revenue account. Worst of all, there is no project to show,” she alleged.
Istifanus also accused the councillor representing Waduku Ward, Mr Timothy Ndeti and that of Suwa Ward, Mr Luka Erisma, as those conniving with the chairman to perpetrate the crime.
“As a duly elected councilor, who had sworn to an oath to serve the people to the best of my ability, I cannot be cowed into keeping silent in the face of the findings and many allegations of misappropriation of public funds and contravention of the public finance management law of Adamawa state.
“Neither will I succumb to aiding and abetting criminal conspiracy acts through which local government funds are siphoned,” Istifanus added.
She called the Economic and Financial Crimes commission (EFCC), Adamawa state Assembly and the audit department of the state Ministry of Local overnment to investigate the matter.
When contacted, the chairman, Vrati Nzonzo, simply said he would not waste his time reacting to the allegation, pointing out that Istifanus, as a councilor, should have presented her case before the council legislators with evidence instead of going to press just to score cheap publicity.
The councillor representing Waduku Ward, who is also the council Minority Leader, and chairman, Committee on Accounts, Finance and Administration, Mr Timothy Ndeti, denied the allegations and accused Istifanus of being bitter over her removal as Deputy Leader of the council.