Ondo ex-deputy gov alleges misuse of N27b by Mimiko



Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko has been accused of misappropriating about N27 billion belonging to the state government.

The allegedly misappropriated funds were said to be part of money that accrued to the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) put at N18billion, a N6.7billion alleged to have been siphoned from the state’s 2014 Re-Ordered Budget and another N2.4billion allegedly belonging to the state’s Wealth Creation Agency (WECA).

These were contained in a set of three petitions forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the impeached Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, copies of which he gave to journalists at a press conference he addressed at the Airport Hotels, Lagos on Tuesday.

But the state government, in an interview granted The Guardian by the Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, has denied the allegation and any wrongdoing by Governor Mimiko.

In the first petition dated May 21, 2015 and titled “Request For Investigating The Disappearance Of The Sum Of N18,056,700.00 From The Public Treasury Of Ondo State And Forgery/Falsification of Appropriation Law”, Olanusi alleged that Mimiko diverted the OSOPADEC funds “into private pockets of his cronies and collaborators, using non-existent projects and empowerment programmes without any budgetary provisions or application of due process.”

The former deputy governor also accused the governor of colluding with the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Jumoke Akindele, and some principal officers of the House to forge legislative documents to back the allegedly diverted OSOPADEC funds retroactively.

According to Olanusi, “Several months after these acts of embezzlement, there emerged a forged and falsified document dated 27th June 2014 and titled OSOPADEC 2014 APPROPRIATION LAW’ bearing the signatures of the Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Barrister Akindele Jumoke, the Clerk of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr. Adeyelu Michael Bode, and the Governor of Ondo State, Dr, Olusegun Mimiko. This document which supported the embezzlement of the above stated sum was fabricated for record purposes and with the intention that it will be used to pull wool over our eyes.”

The former deputy governor also indicted the state’s Seventh House of Assembly which he claimed neither mention, discuss nor approve the funds on the floor of the House as required by law. “It is shocking and heart rendering (breaking) to discover that this document (a bill or a law) was never introduced, debated, defended, recorded or passed into law by the Ondo State House of Assembly”, Olanusi said.

In his second petition dated July 27, 2015, Olanusi alerted the EFCC that the re-ordering of budget carried out by the governor in 2014 where about N6.7billion were pooled from ministries, departments and agencies, was done without necessary legal framework of appropriation through the House of Assembly.

The petitioner also told the EFCC that, “Another issue begging for your attention is the various (bank) loans secretly obtained from different commercial banks in the state.

These are debts incurred on behalf of the state and concealed from the public and the House of Assembly in contravention of the requirements for such borrowing…

A former member of the House of Assembly alluded to this fact when he stated in his complain to the Inspector General of Police that a House resolution to have purportedly authorized the borrowing of about N2.4billion for the benefit of WECA was never debated, let alone approved by the Ondo State House of Assembly as stipulated by the Constitution or the Rules of the House of Assembly.”

The petitioner, in addition to the above raised questions on the N27billion Bond taken by the state government, alleged some anomalies in the processes of obtaining it and in the disbursement.

Akinmade, who dismissed the allegation as that coming from a drowning man and a wounded lion on the prowl, made it very clear that neither the governor nor any of the officials of the state government have anything to hide, adding the officials were ready to face the EFCC.

The commissioner accused Olanusi of engaging in after-thought and querried why it took him the time when he was impeached to embark on this mission.

The commissioner advised members of the public not to take him serious because of the fact that he was part of the government until his removal and that he was only crying wolf after his disengagement.

Akinmade said the former deputy governor has no moral basis to claim the latter day saint he is claiming if he remembered the circumstance that led to his removal which was that he collected state’s fund for a trip he did not make.

According to Akinmade, the people of Ondo State know who their leader is and are always ready to stand by him because they trust and know that he would never abuse the trust reposed in him.

The commissioner also accused the opposition party in the state of being “behind the plot which is aimed at destabilizing the government of Mimiko and create chaos.”

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