N4.3b fund: Ondo govt denies arrest, interrogation of top officials by EFCC
• The report was disappointing, says EFCC
The Ondo State government on Wednesday denied that two of its officials had been invited and quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC)over the discovery of N4.3b stashed in a new generation bank.
The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, in a statement issued and signed by him, described the reported interrogation by officials of EFCC as a hoax.
Ojogo who denied the report also expressed disappointment over the publication saying the report was aimed to tarnish the image of the state government and said the author of the report was merely mischievous.
He said “The report, in all intents and purposes, was a gross display of mischief and an abysmal display of ignorance by those who initiated and disseminated it.
“If the report was intended to expose the paucity of ideas and the futility of a naked public square dance to elicit attraction, it may have succeeded.
“But if it was intended to distract the government of Ondo State from its focus and commitment to good governance, it missed the point because we won’t provide a path for such.
“For the record, the said fund was discovered by the current commissioner for Finance in 2018 and said the fund was duly appropriated for in 2019 budget passed by the State Assembly.
“The State Finance Commissioner, Mr Wale Akinterinwa never lodged the money in Zenith Bank as erroneously painted in the report.
“The writer of the report was in a hurry and unprofessionally packaged the hatchet job that defied logic. The doubtful credibility of the report shows it was a futile hunt for relevance.
“The fact that the reporter and his platform failed to know that the 2019 an Appropriation Act passed by the State Assembly included the sum of N4.3b gives credence to our assertion.
“The anti-graft agency also denied inviting or questioning of any official of the Ondo state government official and expressed disappointment in the publication, which it described as “unprofessional”.
Also denying the report, the EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale said that the report had no merit and urged members of the public to disregard it.
He disclosed that the commission had never at one time or the other summon any of the state government officials.
According to him, “I’m highly disappointed in that reporter who wrote the story; if he has any personal issue to settle with the Ondo State Government, he should not use the EFCC as a vehicle.
“There was no such operation on officials of the Ondo State Government.
“The reporter in question called me and I told him there was nothing of such; so for him to go ahead and write such a report shows how unprofessional some of us can be”,
A newspaper report had claimed that the state Finance Commissioner, Wale Akinterinwa as well as the Accountant General, Laolu Akindolie were whisked away by the antigraft agency over the N4.3b fund stashed in a dormant account with a bank for over ten years.