Enugu Police Command has finally apprehended the suspended Councillor representing Umualor Ward in Isi-Uzo LGA of Enugu State, Hon. Maxwell Aluagbo, who was accused of defrauding the Council to the tune of N1.1m meant for ameliorating the suffering of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in his constituency.
Aluagbo, male, 33, was reportedly arrested in a hotel with a lady who simply identified herself as Blessing.
She denied being a member of any criminal gang but an acquaintance to Hon Aluagbo.
The incident happened when men of the Nigerian Police in Enugu were raiding the area following a tip off that some criminal gangs terrorizing the city were using some hotels around the Nike Lake axis of Abakpa, Enugu, as their hideout.
The Councilor who went into hiding since the matter was exposed following petitions and his suspension by Isi-Uzo Legislative Council, was immediately arrested when he identified himself as a Councillor in Isi-Uzo LGA. The police has been on the look out for him. He was subsequently taken to the Enugu State Police Headquarters where he was said to have confessed to the crime.
Recall that the Isi-Uzo Legislative Council had on Wednesday, July 6, 2023, suspended Hon. Aluagbo for allegedly embezzling the funds meant to alleviate the suffering of IDPs, who took refuge at Umualor and other IDP camps in Isi-Uzo following the Eha-Amufu-herders crisis that led to loss of lives and property. He was also accused by his colleagues of divulging matters discussed during an executive session of the Legislative Council in clear violation of Rule 3(e) of the Legislative house.
Moving a motion for Aluagbo’s suspension, the Majority Leader, who is also the Councilor representing Neke Ward 2, Hon. Nnabuike Ugwu, expressed worry over the petitions by stakeholders and leaders of Umualor community that the sum of N1.1 million naira approved by the Council to alleviate the sufferings of IDPs in their community was yet to be released many months after.
Summing the debate, which saw many Councillors expressing anger over the report, the Leader of Isi-uzo Legislature, Hon. Irenus Anene Nnaji, described the allegations as serious and unfortunate, saying it was a sacrilege for anyone to temper with funds meant to deliver democracy dividends to the people of Isi-Uzo, let alone funds meant for IDPs.
The Legislative Council, therefore, constituted a three-man Committee to further investigate the allegations and report back to it.
However, in a swift reaction, the embattled Councillor, Hon. Maxwell Aluagbo had taken to the social media and some online news channels to allege that he was being witch-hunted by the Council and not paid his wardrobe allowance for attending the reception organised by Member representing Isi-Uzo State Constituency, Hon. Eze, after his inauguration on 13th June.
But concrete facts show that payment of Councilors’ wardrobe allowances in Isi-Uzo was concluded in May and about 21 days before the said House of Assembly inauguration and reception. There is also evidence that the sum of N1.1 million was transferred to Maxwell Aluagbo’s UBA account number 2066599607 on March 3, 2023.