By Temitope Adedeji, Akure
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo state said that it has discovered 13 companies registered by the immediate family of the state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu to embezzle taxpayers funds in the state.
The publicity secretary of the party, Kennedy Peretei in a statement on Sunday said, the companies have the same Directors and Secretary base on their findings from the Corporate Affairs Commission in Abuja.
According to him, “Immediately Akeredolu was sworn in as Governor of Ondo State in 2017, he registered about 13 companies.
“These companies have been shamelessly used by the first family to receive contracts from state ministries and departments.
“Checks from the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja, showed that all the companies have the same or related Directors and Secretary. When contractors in the state hardly get paid for jobs, those awarded to the first family get prompt payment and to rob salt on injury, they and some of their cronies brag about it.
“A few months ago, the Ondo State government placed embargo on all forestry activities. This was done so as to hand over all forest operations to Babajide Akeredolu. When the operations were restored, a new sheriff was already in town.
“One Ilesanmi Brainbox was mandated to collect a handsome sum of N500,000 from the operators everyday and paid directly to Babajide’s bank account.
“Even if Ondo State was a territory conquered by Akeredolu, he should have acted with some modicum of decency”
The PDP also alleged that the Governor’s daughter, Teniola and her husband , Michael Olatunde embezzled last December a whopping sum of N500 million to organised a concert that was never discussed at the state executive meeting nor set up any committee to that effect but that the money was hurriedly arranged for Teniola and her husband.
he explained in his statement that, “Every passing day in Ondo state, one is confronted with the reality that, there is a very slim possibility of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, Governor of Ondo State and his APC to completely serve out his remaining tenure.
“This speculation is fueled by the financial recklessness, brazen lack of respect for rules by Akeredolu’s wife Betty, his son, Babajide and lately his daughter, Teniola and her husband Michael Olatunde.
“The widely advertised and celebrated Sunshine Countdown Concert was anchored by Micheal Olatunde, Akeredolu’s son-in-law. The Ondo State Ministry of Information parted with a whooping N500million of taxpayers money.”
“There was no committee set up for the event, no State Executive Council approval was gotten for it. Just hurriedly put together to patronise Teniola, Akeredolu’s daughter. Everywhere you look in the state, what you find is Akeredolu, his wife, children and their spouses as though on rampage, looting blindly.”
The party, therefore, urged the governor to pay the salaries of workers in the state most especially, staff of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo and that of Owena Press Limited which has caused untold hardship and death of many in the organizations.
According to him, “The world of grandeur and opulence in which these people live is in direct contrast with the lives of the people of the state. Retired workers of the stateowned Owena Press Limited, publishers of Hope Newspaper, had recently in an emotional letter addressed to the Governor over the weekend, appealed for the payment of their gratuity.
“In the words of former Editor of The Hope, Dr. Banji Ayoola, “I can tell you that six of our members including a former Head of features desk, two photographers, a gateman, and two drivers have died of sicknesses that could be easily treated if money had been available, while some are bedridden and unable to help themselves. Notably, six of the company’s 37 former staff have died without their gratuity.
“Around the same time, workers of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo took to the streets, protesting 13 months of unpaid salaries.
“The workers lamented that, while they were hungry, Akeredolu and his cronies were erecting new buildings in Owo, right before their eyes. In the same South West Nigeria, Oyo State Workers got 13-month pay in the month of December. The explanations of lean resources of the state can no longer suffice”
However, the wife of the governor, Mrs Betty Akeredolu was not spared in the alleged looting spree saying she has taken over an agency of government meant to take care of the sufferings of people of the riverine areas of the state
“her part has ensured that, no board is constituted for the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC). All the BEMORE and FOWOSO projects are fully funded by OSOPADEC. Short of directly signing cheques, Betty is the Alpha and Omega of OSOPADEC , the Commission has not executed a single project since the inception of the Akeredolu tenure,” he said.