Stakeholders Calls For Resignation As Ondo Commissioner, Bola Taiwo Breaks The Law Holding NULGE Role, Enbroiled In Constitutional Breach
By Oki Samson
While Ondo people are still grappling with the matter between their Governor and Deputy Governor over impeachment, they do not know that a silent evil is happening right under their nose. Trek Africa Newspaper has uncovered the case of a Commissioner who is allegedly drawing two salaries from the state coffers as a Commissioner as well as holding the President position of a union. This is Mr. Bola Taiwo who is currently a Commissioner under the Ondo State Local Government Service Commission and doubles as the President of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ondo state chapter.
Here is the story. In 2019, Mr. Bola Taiwo as a strong member of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ondo state chapter had vied for the President position of the union. He did win that year and was inaugurated for a four (4) year tenure. In an interesting twist, the Executive Governor of the state, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu appointed him as a Commissioner under the Ondo State Local Government Service Commission. This is good and it is within the right of the Governor to nominate a bonafide citizen of Ondo state for a Commissioner role.
It, however, behooves the person who has been appointed, in this case Mr. Bola Taiwo, to avoid constitutional breach by honorably resigning his position as the President of National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ondo state chapter in order to take up the bigger role as Honorable Commissioner.
This is not the first time such will happen in Ondo State’s recent history. The predecessor of Bola Taiwo, Dr. Bunmi Eniayewu had the same issue. He was holding the President of NULGE Ondo state chapter when he got an appointment as Permanent Secretary in a ministry. He resigned honorably the NULGE President role so as to take the Permanent Secretary role.
But no, Mr. Bola Taiwo went on the path of unconstitutionality and illegality. He kept his position as NULGE President while he went to take the Commissioner job in Alagbaka – centre of power in Ondo State. Alas, the good people of Ondo state were not aware of the silent evil perpetrated by Mr. Bola Taiwo. Mr. Bola Taiwo collected salaries as Ondo State Commissioner as well as NULGE President, Ondo State chapter for 4 whole years between 2019 and 2023.
From time immemorial, the good people of Ondo State are known to be strong, resilient, and not permitting any nonsense. Unfortunately, they have permitted this for 4 whole years. For 4 whole years, Mr. Bola Taiwo has added insult to injury for the good people of Ondo State. While they are struggling under tough economic conditions, one man, Mr. Bola Taiwo is feeding fat with their funds both as a Commissioner and as NULGE President. What will the good people of Ondo state do?
Workers, stakeholders are calling leaders of thought in Ondo State to rise up and speak against Mr. Bola Taiwo to resign and to stop this shenanigan as a public servant.
Both the Ondo State Local Government Service Commission and National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Ondo state chapter must be compelled to open their books between 2019 and 2023. All the salaries, allowances, and other emoluments which Mr. Bola Taiwo has drawn within the four years must be returned to the coffers of Ondo State. The ICPC, EFCC, and other relevant graft agencies should step into this matter. He must be compelled to answer for this show of shame in the court of law.
Earlier, a petition addressed to the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission in Ondo State, Mr Femi Idris, decried what it described as a constitutional breach arising from simultaneous occupation of dual public offices by Mr Bola Taiwo. The petitioners demanded with immediate effect, the resignation from office and the refund of salaries, entitlements, and benefits accruing to the two offices to the coffers of NULGE and the Ondo State Government.
The petition signed by a counsel, Otunba Henry Orumen, recalls how Taiwo emerged, four years ago in 2019, as the President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Ondo State chapter for a period of four years and his tenure terminated recently after running its full course of four years.
The petition reads: “While everyone was watching you to do the needful, you threw caution to the wind and took the benefits of both offices with impunity that smacks of a violent breach of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
“Be it noted, sir, that as a human being, you cannot short circuit nature by being in two places at the same time, and you can not expectedly eat your cake and still have it.”
The petitioners, Orumen warned that, after the ultimatum that expired on November 7, 2023, if the President Taiwo fails to heed “this simple and harmless demand,” he would face public interest litigation seeking to compel the anti-graft agencies to investigate him for corrupt practices that flies in the face of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.