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Prosecute ex-governors who misappropriated LG funds, Sullivan Chime tells FG

Sullivan Chime, former governor of Enugu state, has asked the federal government to prosecute governors who misappropriated local government funds.

Speaking during an interview with NAN on Nigeria’s 25th democracy anniversary, Chime said the move would serve as a deterrent to sitting governors, and aid local government autonomy.

He said the misappropriation of local government funds is criminal and hinders grassroots development.

Chime added that any governor that ran the local government system without a democratically elected council as stipulated by the Nigerian constitution is guilty of misappropriation.

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In May, the federal government filed a suit at the supreme court against governors of the 36 states, seeking full autonomy for the country’s 774 local governments.

The federal government also asked for an order preventing the governors from arbitrarily dissolving democratically elected councils.

Chime said under his tenure, Enugu had democratically elected council government for eight years.

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“But sadly, I don’t know how many states in this country since 1999 that obeys that constitution,” Chime said.

“The federal government is wasting money to take serving governors to Supreme Court over Council’s funds. Send one or two former governors to jail or all who did not observe the law, and it will stop.

“We don’t need any reform but implement the law as it is and even the Supreme Court that has course to make pronouncement on the illegality of caretaker committee, yet it is going unabated.”

He explained that council chairmen under his administration built paved roads because they had access to their money.

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Chime added that the “country is in a mess” because the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) did not go after former governors who failed to conduct council elections.

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