The Peoples Democratic Party has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission to probe the financial activities of the Osun state government under Rauf Aregbesola.
Soji Adagunodo, the PDP chairman in the state, made the call at a press conference in Osogbo, the state capital on Thursday. The party said the audited report of the state government which the European Union transparency initiative forced them to release to the public was full of evidence of financial recklessness.
Adagunodo queried why the sum of N5 billion was spent on overheads in the governor’s office as against N1.2 billion spent in 2015. He said the money was spent at a time when the state was rated fourth on the list of states with the highest domestic debt in Nigeria.
“For example, the Office of the Governor which is principally made up of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Secretary to the State Government and the Chief of Staff, expended a sum of N6,367,390,350.64 in one year. This was higher than the entire money spent on education, agriculture and health in the same year.
“Of this figure, the sum of over N5 billion and N50 million was spent on overheads in the office of the governor. This was an increase of almost 400 per cent on the sum of N1.2 billion spent on the same overheads in 2015. The question is what could be responsible for this astronomical rise in the overhead cost of running the Office of the Governor within 12 months? How much of this money was funnelled into private pockets and on political patronage?”
The PDP chairman claimed further that Aregbesola according to the audited report, spent over N276m on the improvement of his office infrastructure in 2016, while a paltry sum of N1 .18m was spent on the improvement of infrastructure in the hospitals in the 30 local government areas and the Ife East area office in the same year. Some of the other alleged wasteful expenses according to him are: over N10m spent on the building of a website called the O-JOB portal as well as several millions of naira on the maintenance of an aircraft.
However, Adelani Boderinwa, the state’s Commissioner for Information, has labelled the PDP’s claims as baseless. He said they were out to tarnish the governor’s image especially knowing that he had achieved success in the tour of federal constituencies.