Ondo Assembly Probes Source Of N4.3bn Secret Account, Unauthorised Spending

The Ondo State House of Assembly says it will do everything within its powers to unravel the circumstances surrounding the stashing of N4.3bn in a secret account in a third generation bank.

Further revelations concerning the fund came to the fore at plenary on Thursday when Chairman, House Committee on Public Acounts, Honourable Edamisan Ademola, reeled out the list of banks at various times that benefitted from the alleged secret transactions.

Edamisan challenged the competence of the Accountant-General for failing to produce necessary documents bearing the transactions and the accrued interest to date. 

He maintained that if the statements of financial transactions in the listed banks were not supplied as requested, the House would be forced to take necessary steps as entrenched in the constitution.

Among other details, the House sought 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.

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

Responding, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, pledged to provide the necessary documents as requested by the House.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Oleyelogun Bamidele David, mandated the commissioner and the Accountant General to furnish the House with documents on the alleged secret transactions on Thursday 21st May, 2020.

The Finance Commissioner claimed he facilitated the recovery of the money kept in a secret account over 10 years ago.

The House has vowed to get to the root of the secret transactions in the interest of transparency and accountability, as elected representatives of the people. 

Also summoned to the House plenary on Thursday were the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Funso Esan, and the Chairman of ONDIPA, Mr Boye Oyewunmi.

The House inquired from the commissioner why the impact of the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project has not been felt by the people even when the state government has paid a couterpart  fund of five hundred million naira.

Members equally requested to know the modalities adopted for the uneven allocation of the 24 NEWMAP projects among communities in the state especially the delay in the execution of the projects 

Also speaking, Sunday Olajide, Akure South Constituency ll, condemned delay in documentation for world bank projects which he noted delimit accruing benefits from such projects.

He equally advocated that all constituencies in the state must be covered by the NEWMAP projects, adding that the relevant committee of the House must be carried along as representatives of the people.

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