By Tope Adedeji, Akure
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo state has criticized the action of the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu in keeping over N4.5billion in a secret account for over the years.
It would be recalled that the state House Of Assembly discovered a secret account with Zenith Bank for over 10 years and the government did not make it known to the public until the cat was let out of the bag.
A statement issued on Friday by the publicity secretary of the party in the state, Zadok Akintoye, which was made available to Western Post, said “the governor does not deserve the peoples mandate if since he has been in power and operating a secret account of the government, then he should be flushed out.”
Read below the full statement by PDP:
RE: ALLEGED DISCOVERY OF N4.3B UNCOVERED BY THE ONDO STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
It has become very important that the APC-led Ondo State Government be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over its lack of disclosure on the alleged N4.3B “discovered” to have been kept in a Zenith Bank account and to which the present Commissioner for Information claimed to have also been spent.
Investigation by our party has shown that the Akeredolu-led ODSG is being economical with the truth and has violated the law with its intentions not to disclose the receipt of such funds until it was recently probed by the Ondo State House of Assembly.
For the records, the Honorable Commissioner for Information lied when he alleged that the ODSG discovered the funds hidden in an account with the bank. The domiciled funds which was deposited in a call account was disclosed to the Akeredolu led government which consequently took over the bank account. What is however worrisome is that the Ondo State government never disclosed the said funds as part of the funds handed over to it as part of the assets its inherited. We must therefore ask how this fund was accounted for or captured in the records of government. If the funds were captured as revenue earned within that period, it will be criminal and illegal and an attempt to defraud the state, as such funds (if captured as part of IGR) would attract a commission payable to the tax consultants of the state. This is illegal and a criminal breach of trust on the part of the Akeredolu-led government.
We are compelled to ask the ODSG some very important questions in a bid to ensure that the criminality of the actions taken by this government is brought to book.
(1) What was the initial amount deposited into that call account on behalf of the ODSG?
(2) Who was in charge of managing the account on behalf of the ODSG?
(3) Why was there no disclosure of the account made until the ODHA inquiry?
(4) How was the fund spent?
(5) Were the projects allegedly executed with the funds catered for in the 2020 Appropriation Bill? If yes, how did the government account for the earnings from this account?
(6) Was there an attempt by the immediate past government to conceal the account as inferred in the mischievous use of words in the statement credited to the ODSG?
(7) If the funds had allegedly been saved for over 10 years, would it not be right to assume that there is an accrued interest to the credit of the state?
_10 years banking interest rate analysis_
4billion +15%= 4.6billion
8.04542875 billion+15%= 9.2522430625billion
9.2522430625 billion+15%= 10.6400795219 billion
Year9: 10.6400795219 billion+15%=12.2360914502 billion
Year 10: 12.2360914502 billion+15%=14.0715051677billion.
Let Zenith bank and Ondo government come clean on the above. Where is the 10.7billion accrued interest/earnings on fund found in Zenith bank? Can the Commissioner for Finance provide details on this?
(8) If the funds were discovered as far back as February 2018, of what purpose and intent is the “revelation” as credited to the Commissioner for Information?
(9) How was the money accounted for in the records of state? If it was accounted as revenue earned, who was the consultant paid for its receipt?
While we are of the opinion that this information was released for the purpose of mischief, it has become very pertinent that the Ondo State House of Assembly set aside party loyalty to do what it is statutory mandated to do in ensuring that public funds and resources are expended on behalf of the people according to the law.
We use this opportunity to call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to immediately investigate the allegations of misappropriation of public funds as noted in the response of the Commissioner for Information, wherein he said the funds had been spent on projects yet without such expenditure being legally appropriated.
We shall keep the public updated as we jointly work towards ensuring that government accounts for revenues collected on our behalf.
Director of Media and Publicity, PDP
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