Ondo Assembly Probes N4.3bn in Secret Account, Summons Finance Commissioner, AG

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Ondo Assembly Probes N4.3bn in Secret Account, Summons Finance Commissioner, AG

The Ondo State House of Assembly has commenced investigation into the source of the  N4.3bn  allegedly discovered  in a secret  bank account by the  state government.

The money  was  said to have  been deposited into   Zenith Bank account by one of the past administrations.

The money said to have been in  the said account  for  over 10 years was allegedly withdrawn and spent by  the Rotimi Akeredolu administration without informing the Assembly.

The legislators  have   summoned the Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa, and  Accountant General of the state, Laolu Akindolire, to appear before them  on Thursday to explain how the money was found and withdrawn by the executive  without their approval.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Bamidele Oloyeloogun, directed Akinterinwa and  Akindolire to  come with all  documents relating  to  the transactions and the accrued interest.

Akinterinwa pledged to comply with the instructions.

Speaking after  Friday’s plenary, the  Chairman, House Committee on Public Acounts,   Ademola Edamisan,  said the  matter would  be thoroughly investigated.

The lawmaker, who represents Irele Constituency, said since the money  was  in a fixed account for over 10 year, the assembly was interested in the accrued interest.

He said, “They (executive) claimed they have recovered N4.3bn from the money but the committee is keenly interested in the actual interest generated for  over 10 years and we requested  comprehensive details of the account.

“The committee is interested in full details of how the account  has  been 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 AG will come out with  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 had been transferred from the initial account in Zenith Bank to another six different state government bank accounts in less than five months from  February to June 2018.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Donald Ojogo, said  in a statement that efforts were made to take a comprehensive inventory of all assets and liabilities of government.

Ojogo said Akinterinwa, through his vigilance and financial intelligence, discovered the alleged secret account.

He said, “The invitation of the finance commissioner by the House of Assembly and indeed, same extended to both the Accountant General and  Auditor General are in line with the government’s desire to make as transparent as possible, the management of our commonwealth in Ondo State.”

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