Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State may need to urge the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa and the state Accountant-General, Mr. Laolu Akindolire, to provide the state House of Assembly with the proof that N4.3 billion discovered, withdrawn and spent was actually appropriated for or risks being served impeachment notice soon.
A source in the House of Assembly confided in our correspondent that if the two finance managers in the cabinet failed to provide convincing evidence that the money was appropriated for in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, the governor would be served impeachment notice for breach of the constitution.
The source described the alleged withdrawal of the huge sum in secrecy without informing the House about the discovery and appropriated for as impeachable offence.
Referring to the discovery of the House that the said N4.3 billion was transferred from the initial secret account to another six different accounts between February and June, he said it smacked suspicion.
The Assembly on Thursday commenced the probe of the N4.3billion found in a secret account of the state government domiciled in the Zenith Bank Plc by one of the past administrations, for over 10 years. The Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration allegedly withdrew and spent the said money without being appropriated for.
In its resolve to do everything within its constitutional power to unravel the circumstances surrounding the money kept secretly in the bank for over 10 years and the accrued interest on the money, Mr. Bamidele Oloyeloogun, the speaker of the Assembly, has directed the Finance Commissioner and the Accountant-General to produce within seven days all necessary documents that explicitly state all transactions on the account.
Mr. Ademola Edamisan, Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, on Thursday vowed that the House would get to the root of the matter. He said, “They (executive) claimed they have recovered N4.3 billion from the money but the committee is keenly interested in the actual interest generated for over 10 years and we requested for a comprehensive details of the account.
“The committee is interested in full details on how the account is being operated over the years, who authorised the opening of the account, who are the signatories and when was the account opened.
“We hope the commissioner and the accountant-general will come out with the comprehensive details of the account, so we will be able to calculate the cost running interest so far in the account.
“The committee discovered after a thorough investigation that the said money has been transferred from the initial account in Zenith Bank to another six different state government bank accounts in less than five months from period of February to June 2018.”
Sunday Independent sources added that Akinteriwa as Commissioner for Finance during Mimiko’s Government moved the money from current to deposit account in order to get interest on the deposit. The source added that when he came back as Commissioner for Finance for second time he moved the money from primary account to another.
“Between 2nd of Feb and June 28, 2018, all the money was spent. They moved N2b to Wema, N1b to Providus, N300m to Sterling, N600 million to another account in Zenith. “They also made two withdrawals N50m and another N385 million.
The money was not declared, it did not reflect in the 2019 budget or 2020 appropriation budget “Another fraud was that they moved the money as revenue as IGR to Board of Internal Revenue and collected 25 percent from the money.”
Text adapted from Independent