Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has directed the removal of Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) from Banks that gave unauthorised loans to some Local Government Chairmen in the State.
A report by Paulinus Nsirim, the State Commissioner for Information and Communications disclosed that Governor Wike gave the directive while swearing in the substantive Chairman of the Asari-Toru Local Government Area, Mrs. Alaso Johnbull Obi, at Government House, Port Harcourt on August 5, 2020.
Governor Wike who directed the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take legal action against the defaulting Banks, said both the Banks and the Councils that defaulted would suffer the consequences of the illegality.
He noted that the Banks cannot seek refund of the loans because they contravened extant Laws of the State.
“We have taken a decision that for all those loans taken without approval, the affected accounts must leave the defaulting banks.
“I have told the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take necessary steps. The Banks cannot go and seek for refund from the Local Governments. When you default the Law, you suffer for it.
“Council Chairmen who want to take loans from Banks must get official approval. You cannot take loans that will mortgage the future of the people”, he stated.
Governor Wike charged Mrs. Alaso Johnbull Obi to use her new position to make a difference because the people are yet to feel the impact of the Council.
“Go and put your local government together. Do not allow busy body politicians to distract you. Use this opportunity you have to make a difference.
“We never thought that Chief Odiari Princewill will die but as God will have it, he is dead and we have to abide by the constitution.
“That is why you, as the deputy, has to step in as the substantive chairman of Asari-Toru local Government Area today.
“In choosing your Deputy, you must consult widely with all the stakeholders of the Party. As election is coming up next year, you have an opportunity to sell yourself,” he added.
Until her swearing in, Mrs. Alaso Johnbul Obi was the Vice Chairman of the Council but the death of the elected chairman, Chief Odiari Princewill on the 27th May, 2020 created a vacuum that needed to be filled.