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Ogun LG Allocation Saga: HEDA, CISLAC, Other Groups Describe Allegations As Criminal, Express Worry On Shoddy Handling



The HEDA Resource Centre has expressed worry on the manner the allegation of withholding Local Council  funds levelled against Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun by a Council boss, Wale Adedayo.

This is contained in a press statement signed by Olanrewaju Suraju of the Centre, Zikirullah Ibrahim of CHRICED, Muhammed Attah of PRADIN, Awaru Musa Rafsanjani of CISLAC, and David Ugolor of ANEEJ.

The organisations described the ongoing development as not being political or private matters but criminal infractions which should be treated as such and financial books of all the parties involved can be thoroughly examined by pertinent bodies.

The statement reads in part: “As a group of anti-corruption Watchdogs with social conscience, we are disturbed by the dire consequences of corrupt practices in depleting our meagre public treasury.

The case in Ogun State, by all parameters is a vintage sample of how the society is robbed by unscrupulous public office holders of the scarce funds that could have been deployed to shore up abysmal social infrastructural deficits.

The Ogun State case should be a template for extensive investigation of management and otherwise of local government funds and the JAAC accounts.

“Ogun state is littered with a plethora of impassable roads, especially in the rural communities. Most rural dwellers in the State go through harrowing conditions to get their Agricultural Farm products to market in urban Centres. This adversely affects the means of livelihoods of the majority of citizens who are domiciled in the rural interiors.

The same funds that are criminally diverted would have been deployed to provide basic social infrastructural facilities in environmental sanitation, primary healthcare and educational services.

This corruption scourge in our public space is responsible for retarding the steps towards the nation’s developmental leap as envisaged by the Government and all well-meaning Nigerians.

“We, thus, unequivocally call on the operatives of anti-graft institutions to urgently extend their nets, enlarge their periscope to critically scrutinise the financial books of Ogun State Government, and the Twenty (20) Local Government Councils, with particular emphasis on the transactions in the FAAC and JAAC accounts.

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All the major players and stakeholders in the State, be it institutional, individual or groups should also be subjected to comprehensive investigations to track how these funds have been diverted from its statutory purposes and destination points like Ijebu East Local Government Area.

“We call on the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to swing into action and do their work on these odious allegations suffocating our public space. We are confident that heavens shall not fall, if the culprits are brought to book. Rather, the country would be with the prospect of a more open, accountable, transparent and equitable ambience necessary for sustainable, holistic development”.

HEDA observed that the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC did not require any special nodding before beaming their searchlights on this egregious financial improprieties levied against the Governor Abiodun as well as any other persons or agencies that may be involved in the illicit diversion of the Local  Government allocations in the State.

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The organisations stated that various reports in the public domain reveals enough worms out of the cans of the Ogun State Treasury, which should never be treated with kid’s glove or swept under the kept or reduced to a ‘party affair’ if the nation’s anti-corruption crusade is not to be made a caricature jamboree in the comity of nation, adding needless to say that the global investment community considers these kinds of cases as part of the indicators on the ease of doing business in the country.

“The country under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has one of its cardinal programmes as the imperative to court huge foreign investment portfolios to bolster the ailing national economy. Any case of sleaze practices in corridors of power without requisite, diligent enquiries, and apprehension, would therefore, be harmful to this policy direction” HEDA and other groups stated.

Recall that Adedayo specifically alleged that Governor Abiodun has been illegally tampering with Ecological Funds; cornered the Federal Government Palliatives allocation under President Muhammed Buhari up to the tune of N10 billion.

He also alleged that the State Government has not been disbursing the statutory monthly allocations of the Councils through the State, Joint Account Allocation Committee, or paying the requisite constitutional 10% of the State’s Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, to the Local Governments, while it equally cornered the collections of parks and markets levies which are within the jurisdictional purview of local government administrations.

Specific references were made to the FAAC allocation for June and July N4.9 billion and  N5.6 billion respectively of which no funds got to any of the Local Government Councils.

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