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Osun activists petition Buhari, NASS, FAAC, anti-graft bodies over alleged diversion of LG funds by Governor Aregbesola

By News Express on 13/04/2016

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A non-governmental organisation, the Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State (CSCEOS), has reported Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola to President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), anti-graft agencies, and other concerned authorities in the land over illegal and unconstitutional diversion of the state’s local government funds from the Federation Account, urging the Federal Government to  henceforth stop releasing the funds to the state through the governor.

The CSCEOS, however, called on President Buhari and the National Assembly to set up an independent judicial panel of inquiry to investigate the criminal diversion of monthly allocations to local government areas of the state since inception of Aregbesola’s administration, asking the anti-graft agencies to commence investigation and forensic audit of the account books of the constitutionally recognised 30 local governments of the state.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Comrade Alimi Sulaiman Adeniyi, the group added that the anti-graft bodies should also investigate the roles of the then Executive Secretaries, Head of Local Government Administration (HLA) and former commissioner and permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the criminal diversion of local government funds accrued to the state.

The petition dated Monday April 4, 2016 and signed by the CSCEOS’ Chairman, Comrade Adeniyi, was titled: ‘Report of illegal diversion of 30 local government’s monthly allocations by the Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola: Why Civil Societies Coalition for the Emancipation of Osun State is calling for investigation and stoppage of releasing of Local Government monthly allocations to Osun State through Mr Aregbesola.’ It was addressed to President Buhari and copied to the National Assembly, two anti-graft bodies and host of others. The petition alleged that Mr Aregbesola has been fraudulently siphoning the state’s local government  funds through illegal special intervention projects carried out on behalf of the respective council areas.

The letter partly reads: “It is duty-bound on us as an organisation that is craving for egalitarian and corrupt-free society to draw the urgent attention of your good office(s) to the ongoing advancement of illegal and unconstitutional diversion of the monthly allocations of 30 local government areas of Osun State by Governor Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola since November 2010.

“To affirm this illegality and unconstitutionality, Mr Aregbesola suspended the democratic system in the constitutionally-recognised 30 local government areas of Osun State by appointing grade level 14 local government staff as ‘Council Managers’ to man the council areas of the state instead of ‘democratically-elected chairmen and councilors’ as stipulated in section 7(i) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in order to give Aregbesola leeway in the criminal diversion of local government funds.

“Sir, Mr Aregbesola is engaging in this impunity of highest order in the local government areas of the state as a result of the rubber-stamp 26 members of the Osun State House of Assembly, which comprises 24 members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state. To confirm our position on the subject matter, Mr Aregbesola still owes six months’ salaries of workers, particularly the local government employees and primary and middle school teachers, which they have been paying as at when due through the monthly allocations from the Federation Account to the local government areas of the state.”

Comrade Adeniyi further alleged that Mr Aregbesola had used the state to borrow sum of N500 billion from both local and international financial institutions, which subjected the state to the present financial predicament facing its corporate existence, adding that Aregbesola has also forced the 30 local government areas of the state to borrow N10 billion each, which amounted to a total sum of N300 billion under the guise of embarking on one project or the other on behalf of the local councils that was seriously affecting the financial functions of the respective local government areas of the state to their respective people, especially the affected local government workers, urging the Federal Government to take over the payment of salaries of local government employees and primary and middle school teachers in the state, in order to protect their economy and labour rights.

The rights activist, therefore, urged the President Buhari-led Federal Government  and National Assembly with their anti-graft agencies to investigate all the acclaimed road projects embarked upon on by Aregbesola’s administration on behalf of the local government areas of the state, which did not follow the due process of Public Procurement Act 2007.

•Photo shows Governor Aregbesola.

Source News Express

Posted 13/04/2016 05:44:58 AM

 

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