Traditional heads of different family compounds in Ibadan has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to investigate and freeze the Oyo state, Local Government Account with Heritage Bank, over what it described as illegal spending of local government funds.
The Mogaji’s also asked the EFCC to investigate the accounts of the Oyo State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters; investigate the procurement process of all the local governments and the local council development areas in the state; and investigate the operations of the Local Government Account with Heritage Bank.
According to a petition addressed to the EFCC and signed by Mogaji Moshood Gbola Akere, Mogaji Abass Oloko and Mogaji Ademola Olasomi, the traditional heads expressed displeasure in the way Governor Abiola Ajimobi, has been using the state Head of Service, Mrs. Olawumi Ogunesan, to run the accounts of the ministry of local government and chieftaincy affair “without recourse to the law.”
The petition reads in full:
“We the undersigned are the traditional heads of various family compounds in the 25 local government/local council development areas of Ibadanland, which is 52% of the population of Oyo State. We are the grassroot leaders protesting the interests of our people.
1. The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi has been using the Head of Service, Mrs. Olawumi Ogunesan, who was until last year, the permanent Secretary of the Local Government Ministry to run the accounts of the Ministry without recourse to the Law.
2. There’s a portion of the Local Government Fund regarded as Excess Crude Oil Account, which is kept with Heritage Bank where the Governor’s Son-in-Law is a Senior Manager.
3. The excess Crude Oil Account is being run without recourse to due Process. There’s a high disregard for the Procurement Act. None of the 33 Councils where there are elected Chairmen and Councilors has passed any Appropriation Law to give the expenditure incurred on the Account any form of Legality. Governor Ajimobi has constituted himself into Law, spending the money through Mrs. Ogunesan and the HLAs with impunity.
4. In the past 6 months, about N9.9 Billion was taken from the Local Government Account without any legal authorization. The Governor and Mrs. Ogunesan using the Local Government Officials organized a kind of direct Labour in all the 33 Local Governments to undertake procurement contrary to the Procurement Law. It also amounted to misappropriation, because there was no appropriation law backing the Expenditure.
5. Recently, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Infrastructure, who is also the Head of the Public Works Department, Mr. Gbenga Akintola has been the one saddled with the responsibility of undertaking procurement for the 33 Local Governments and 35 local council development areas. This is against the Law and a further demonstration of the impunity with which the Governor has been spending Local government Funds.
6. The Governor using the Head of Service, Mrs. Olawumi Ogunesan has directed the Heads of Local Government Administration (HLA) in the 33 local governments to come up with proposals for spending money in the stabilization Accounts of the Local governments, even when it is known that the administration has less than 2 months in the Office.
7. Currently, there’s a sum of #34.6 billion in the Local Government Account domicile in Heritage Bank. The money has been kept in a fixed deposit account yielding interests to the Governor and Mrs. Ogunesan. As the Governor’s Party lost out in the Governorship Election conducted last Month, plans are underway to spend this money in the twilight of his administration.
8. It is sad that a huge sum of money to the tune of #34.6 billion could be kept in Heritage Bank, where the Governor and his Cronies are making money through accrued interests and also using the Local Government money to secure the Job of his Son-in-Law. If the money had been judiciously and legally appropriated for the use of the local governments it would have stimulated the economy of the state in many beneficial ways. It further shows the wickedness Of the Governor and the extent of his selfishness.
We pray that the EFCC kindly undertake the following:
I. EFCC should investigate the accounts of the Oyo State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters in the past one year.
II. The EFCC to investigate the procurement process of all the local governments and the local council development areas in the state.
III.The EFCC should also investigate the operations of the Local Government Account with Heritage Bank.
IV.The EFCC should freeze the Local Government Account with Heritage Bank or any other bank to prevent further dissipation of the funds by the out-going Governor and his agents and/or proxies. We count on your usual effectiveness in matters of this nature.
We remain Yours sincerely”
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