A plan to force the closure of Ondo State House of Assembly through violence has been uncovered by the lawmakers in the state.
According to the legislators, the move was aimed at stopping them from further probing the N4.3bn discovered in a ‘secret’ account belonging to the state government after 10 years and the types of transactions that had been carried out on the account over the years.
The plot was said to have been sponsored by a top member of the All Progressives Congress in the state to stop the lawmakers from going ahead with the probe.
It was gathered that some thugs had been hired for the mission while members of National Union of Road Transport Workers in the state had also been pencilled down to cause mayhem in the Assembly complex to stop the lawmakers from continuing with the probe.
“Watch out for what would happen, starting from this week or Monday. They’re ready to scatter everything just to avoid further embarrassment on this government.
“The state Assembly might be the focus because their plans have been perfected to rubbish whatever sittings in that complex by using the NURTW thugs who they have been contracted already.
“So, they don’t want the Assembly to probe further and they have discovered that the government made some errors in spending the money which they can’t even account for,” a member of the Assembly told our correspondent.
Recall that last week Thursday, the Assembly began its probe of the transactions carried out on the ‘secret’ account domiciled in Zenith Bank by interrogating the state’s Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa, and Accountant-General, Laolu Akindolire, concerning the N4.3bn but was unable to get a more convincing explanation.
The Assembly, however, asked the two treasury managers of the state to furnish the parliament with necessary documents and comprehensive transaction details on the account starting from when it was opened.
Chairman, House Committee on Public Account in the state’s House of Assembly, Ademola Edamisan, said transactions and withdrawals in the account were discovered during the probe of the state government accounts without appropriation.
He said since the money in the account had been transferred to other accounts, the lawmakers were willing to know the amount of initial interest the fund had generated for 10 years.
Speaking on Sunday, Olugbenga Omole, Chairman, House Committee on Information, said the independent probing of the lawmakers to know the root of the N4.3bn in the ‘secret’ account was not aimed at witch-hunting.
He said, “The investigation is being carried out according to the power bestowed upon the House of Assembly by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and not targeted at any individual or group.”
Also, SaharaReporters gathered that the discovery of the money and probe of the transactions on the account had been causing divisions among lawmakers of the Assembly with some reportedly considering the opportunity as a means to negotiate or either demand their entitlements from the governor.
Findings revealed that some of the lawmakers are considering the probe of financial appropriation, bonds and loans for projects by the state government over the last three years of the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu government.
An insider told SaharaReporters that some lawmakers had started to sing different tunes especially after a meeting with some members of the executive.
“Don’t forget the probe was not even out of genuine concern for the state as being claimed by few of them but it was to negotiate for what they want from the governor like they once did but we are happy they were able to expose this fraud.
“Recently, the governor (Akeredolu) bought two new Lexus SUVs worth millions of naira; one of them is bullet-proof while legislators in the state are struggling to survive.
“So, they see this is as another opportunity to get their vehicles and more running grants from the governor because many of them don’t have vehicles and their entitlements have not been paid.”
The leadership of the APC in Ondo refused to comment on the allegation of contracting thugs and NURTW members to cause mayhem at the Assembly complex to stop the probe of the newly discovered account when SaharaReporters made contacts on Sunday.