Major opposition parties in Ondo State have kicked against the explanation made by Ondo State government under Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu over the controversial N4.3b found in a secret bank account, opened over 10 years ago.
In a statement made available to journalists, yesterday, in Akure by the state chairman of African Action Congress (AAC), Mr. Israel Ayeni, the present administration was accused of misappropriation of public funds.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had earlier made a 10- year bank interest analysis, affirming that the money had yielded N10.7b interest.
Ayeni called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and all related commissions to synergise with the state Assembly to properly investigate the matter.
He insisted that they must unveil the secret intentions behind the discovered fund, saying: “The account, said to be traced to former Governor Olusegun Kokumo Agagu-led administration of over a decade from now is questionable. AAC also challenges the competence of the state’s Accountant General, as well as the Office of the Commissioner for Finance for not providing all necessary documents bearing all transactions made with the account.”
Aside demanding the interest accrued to date, he said: “When and what was the purpose of opening the ‘secret account?’ Who are the signatories, and why was hidden, even from the legislative arm?…”
The state PDP Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Zadok Akintoye, flayed the state government for not being transparent with the account, saying it hid it from the general public’s knowledge, when first discovered.
He said: “Investigation by our party has shown that the Akeredolu-led government is being economical with the truth and has violated the law with its intentions not to disclose the receipt of such funds, until it was recently probed by the Ondo State House of Assembly…”
Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Donald Ojogo, had earlier cleared the air immediately the Accountant-General and the Commissioner for Finance were summoned by the Assembly.
Ojogo said it was the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa, who discovered the hidden account.
“At inception of this administration, concerted efforts were made to take a comprehensive inventory of all assets and liabilities of government, which include liquidity status. This exercise, modestly conducted without the usual noise, was aimed at avoiding sensationalisation and needless acrimony. In this regard, all development partners of the government, including banks, rendered highly commendable forms of assistance,” he said.
Ojogo disclosed that the account and the deposited fund, which was promptly reported, were discovered through the vigilance and financial intelligence of the Finance Commissioner.
He said the record of the new recovery has also reflected in the records of the state for proper accountability and transparency.
Meanwhile, the former Commissioner for Finance, whose regime opened the account, Senator Tayo Alasoadura, has absolved the current administration of the crime, blaming it on improper handing over after the court judgment that sacked the administration of the late Dr. Olusegun Agagu in 2009.
Alasoadura flayed the bank for not calling the new administration’s attention to the account, since the government operated accounts in all banks operating in the state, as a policy.