Warns council finance heads
BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The Ademola Adeleke Transition Committee has again raised the alarm of attempts by the administration of Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola to illegally mop up funds domiciled in the local government accounts.
A statement signed and issued on Thursday by the Chairman, Media Sub-Committee of the transition group, Olawale Rasheed, revealed that as against the earlier denial of the state government, it has uncovered a fresh move by the incumbent government to coerce Heads of Administration and the Heads of Finance across local councils in the state to move between N20 million and N30 million each from their allocations.
Rasheed claimed that the state government summoned a meeting of top local governments officials on Tuesday to deliberate on the alleged fund mop up and return to the state’s supervising ministry in Osogbo.
The statement reads, “Contrary to denial, Osun state government on Tuesday summoned a meeting of top local governments officials to deliberate on fund mop up and return to the supervising ministry at Osogbo.
“At the meeting were all the Heads of Finance and all heads of Administration across the 30 local governments and Area Office.
“Members of the public will recall that the Office of the Governor-Elect had raised alarm about a criminal directive to council managers to return in cash between N20 and N30 million each from their allocations and to prepare paperwork to cover up such as expended on legitimate projects.
“The State Government had immediately denied the report as baseless and a product of fictional imagination.
“The Ademola Adeleke Transition Committee is however glad to report back to the public that the fund return directive was the subject of the Tuesday meeting with the Heads of Administration and the Heads of Finance, directed to cooperate as directed by the Council managers
“Insiders at the meeting reported that the HODs were sternly warned against what was called disobedience of “lawful directive” even though they were being asked to violate the government’s financial rules and regulations.
“We learnt on good authority that the HODs Finance and Administration were directed to cooperate with the Council managers as they are the signatories to the council accounts.
“We are therefore using this medium to warn the HODs never to succumb to blackmail. We call on the HODs to reject unlawful directive as doing otherwise will make them an accomplice in corrupt conduct.”
Meanwhile, the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Ismail Omipidan, had denied the allegations of attempted mopping of fund and challenged the committee to provide evidence of their claim to the public.
The committee also asked the management of Unity Bank of Nigeria to call some of its staff to order with respect to the accounts of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) domiciled with the bank.
“We have credible reports that some staff of the bank are about to compromise and collude with elements within the Oyetola administration on fund movement.
“Insiders revealed that plans are afoot to move fund out of the SUBEB accounts using frivolous covers such as acclaimed “loans”.
“A meeting has reportedly being held to that effect between some officials of the bank and SUBEB management.
“It should be brought to the attention of the Unity Bank management that funds have been deposited into the account by UBEC since March, 2022. It raises concerns that after 5 months of no action, such funds are being proposed to be moved abruptly.
The bank is warned not to release the said fund as such will amount to collaboration in corruption deal. The urgent intervention of the bank’s top management will stop a criminal deal that may tarnish the reputation of the bank,” the statement read.