* As Gov Wike declares loans illegal, punishes banks by taking away JAAC accounts
* Says loans wont be repaid * Second female LGA boss emerges
Banks that gave loans to some local councils in Rivers State have lost the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) accounts in their banks. Gov Nyesom Wike who gave the order also directed the law officer of the state to initiate prosecution against the banks. He said the loans were unauthorized.
Wike gave the directive while swearing in the substantive chairman of the Asari-Toru Local Government Area at Government House, Port Harcourt, the second female LGA boss ever, when he directed the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to take legal action against the defaulting banks.
Gov Wike said both the banks and the councils that defaulted would suffer the consequences of the alleged illegality, noting 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. 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.
Gov Wike charged 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 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, have 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 (PDP). As election is coming up next year, you have an opportunity to sell yourself,” he added.
Until her swearing in, Obi was the Vice Chairman of the Council but the death of the elected chairman on the 27th May, 2020, created a vacuum that needed to be filled. The first ever female is Maureen Tamuno for Okrika under then Gov Chibike Amaechi era who has just become an ambassador to North Korea. Wike made each LGA to have a female deputy, thus the death in Asar-Toru opened chance for a female to emerge under elected condition.