The Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State has accused the state Governor; Mr Rauf Aregbesola of hiring a Lagos-based accounting firm to maneuver financial books in preparatory to an anticipated EFCC probe.
The party therefore, called on all anti-graft agencies to immediatelly probe Osun finances without further delay, saying that “Aregbesola’s belief before now that he could not be probed by Buhari made him to be too reckless in handling its finances”.
The PDP, in a statement issued in Osogbo by its spokesperson, Prince Diran Odeyemi, said “the new move to straighten up Osun finances was born out of the fear by Governor Aregbesola that his refusal to join President Buhari to campaign for the candidate of the All Progressive Congress, APC, in Ondo state could mean all pending petitions against him would be investigated by the anti-graft bodies sooner than later”.
The move, according to the party, followed heightened fear about anti-graft agencies, especially Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, launching probe into the finances of the state, as the gulf between Lagos arm of the ruling party and Abuja widens.
The PDP said that Aregbesola had recently sent senior civil servants from the cadre of director upward on compulsory leave to frustrate Senate’s probe into the utilization of bailout funds of N34.9 billion meant to pay workers’ salaries.
“The accounting firm, from our findings has been given a whopping sum of N200 million with a marching order to perfect documents for government transactions, with particular attention to those transactions done between November, 2014 , when the last set of commissioners were sacked”, PDP said.
“The firm which had been paid up-front was also given the task of liaising with three notable financial institutions to “manufacture documents” for three huge loans that were procured by Aregbesola without due process on which about 80% earnings of the state from the federation account are expended in the last 18 months.
“Osun PDP is concerned because in all of these, funds meant for the development of the state are being expended on frivolities while most of its citizens are languishing in poverty as a result of parlous state of its economy.
When contacted by our correspondent, the Director of Bureau of Communication and Strategy in the Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon said he would react when he read the statement by the PDP.