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N4.3b found in secret account was appropriated, says Ondo government

Governor Akeredolu

Contrary to the report that Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State didn’t appropriate the N4.3billion found in a secret bank account, the state government has affirmed that due process was followed before spending the money.

The affirmation was contained in a statement issued to journalists yesterday by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale, Akinterinwa, who was quizzed by the House of Assembly last week.

He maintained that the government took all legal and proper measures to ensure that the recovered fund was lodged in the coffer of the state, saying Akeredolu would not condone any kind of illegality.

A source conversant with the issue yesterday disclosed that the money was actually brought to the attention of the state government early in the life of Akeredolu’s administration by the bank itself but the government chose to be silent on the matter until now.

“It is not a discovery of secret account as politicians now want the public to believe,” the source, who did not want his name in print, said.

“The truth is that immediately the Akeredolu government came to power, the administration was informed of all the state’s balances, same as all banks. It is, therefore, shocking that some people are making it look like they just discovered a secret account. I think there is politics in the mix.”

The matter had since generated controversy in the state, causing the Assembly members to invite Akinterinwa, who was said to have discovered the secret account in 2018.

In the statement, Akinterinwa said: “The executive is not hiding anything as we have always said. The narrative set out by mischief makers is that there was no appropriation for the money in question. This is untrue.

“The 2019 appropriation passed by the Assembly included, among others, this N4.3billion under the overall summary of the budget, item on cash reserve/roll over fund. It is very apt and unambiguous for the public to confirm the truth. The story of non-appropriation is utterly mischievous.”

The commissioner, who gave the explanation following rumour that the lawmakers were on the verge of sending impeachment notice to Akeredolu, maintained that the Governor had not committed any impeachment offence to warrant such move by the legislature.

Several attempts to speak with the Speaker of the House, Mr. Bamidele Oleyelogun, failed as calls made to his phone number were not picked and there was no reply to a text message sent to him.

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