N4.3bn Secret Bank Account: Ondo Assembly in showdown

•PDP calls for proper investigation

Lawmakers in Ondo State are threatening a showdown with the state government on how the N4.3b lodged in a secret account in a third-generation bank was spent without being appropriated.

The House equally called on the Executive to produce necessary documents bearing the transactions and the accrued interest on the money till date.

Speaking on the development, the Chairman House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Edamisan Ademola challenged the competence of the Accountant General over his failure to produce necessary documents bearing the transactions and the accrued interest to date.

He noted that the statements of financial transactions in the listed banks were not supplied as requested by the House, and said the House may be forced to take necessary steps as entrenched in the constitution.

The Ondo State House of Assembly says it will do everything within its constitutional power to unravel the circumstances surrounding the stashing of a sum of 4.3 billion naira in a secret account in a third-generation bank.

He said “the lawmakers demanded to know the source of the fund, the date the money was lodged into the alleged secret account, the person who authorised the lodging and the accrued interest to date.

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“The House equally wanted to know how the money which members claimed was not appropriated was spent”

However, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, who said he facilitated the recovery of the money kept in a secret account, pledged to provide all the necessary documents as requested by the House.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. David Oleyelogun mandated the Commissioner and the Accountant General to furnish the House with documents on the alleged secret transactions by next week Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for proper investigation into the alleged discovery of the fund stashed in a third-generation bank.

The PDP in a statement signed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Zadok Akintoye, described as worrisome 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.

The PDP queried if the fund was accounted for or captured in the records of the government of If the funds were captured as revenue earned within a 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.

“Investigation by our party has shown that the Akeredolu-led government 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”

The PDP, however, asked “What was the initial amount deposited into that call account on behalf of the ODSG and who was in charge of managing the account on behalf of the state government

“Why was there no disclosure of the account made until the ODHA inquiry, how was the fund spent?

“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?

“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?

“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?”

Akintoye however called on the lawmakers to set aside party loyalty to do what it is statutorily mandated of them to do in ensuring that public funds and resources are expended on behalf of the people according to the law.

He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately investigate the allegations of misappropriation of public funds.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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