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Alleged LG fund diversion: Impeach Abiodun if found culpable, Adebutu tells Ogun Assembly

The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state, Ladi Adebutu, on Tuesday, asked the State House of Assembly and the anti-graft…

The Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun state, Ladi Adebutu, on Tuesday, asked the State House of Assembly and the anti-graft agencies to investigate Governor Dapo Abiodun for allegedly hijacking the statutory Federal Allocation due to the state’s local governments in the last two years.

Daily Trust had reported how the Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State, Wale Adedayo, accused the governor of withholding the LGs’ allocations, in a letter addressed to former Governor, Aremo Olusegun Osoba.

Adedayo lamented that LG chairmen were unable to execute projects in the last two years, and asked Osoba to urgently wade in, and convince Abiodun to allow “the statutory Federal Allocation to Local Governments in Ogun State to reach each of them as envisaged by the 1999 Constitution.”

The Council boss also wrote petitions to the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) calling for the investigation of the governor over alleged diversion of local government funds.

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But the governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, denied the allegations.

Abiodun said contrary to the allegations, his administration often had to augment the funds allocated to local governments in the state from the federation account to enable them to meet their obligations.

The governor “wondered how adding to the funds allocated to the local councils to enable them to meet their obligations amounted to hijacking their funds.”

He also said that funds meant for local governments in the state are being handled by the constitutionally recognised Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC).

In his reaction on Tuesday, Adebutu called on members of the State House of Assembly to investigate Abiodun and commence impeachment process of the governor if found guilty.

Adebutu, who spoke through his media aide, Afolabi Orekoya, in Abeokuta on Tuesday said the governor had violated the constitution and committed an impeachable offence, hence he must be punished.

Adebutu said, “The local government chairman has also written a letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly which we believe that the Speaker will not sweep the letter under the carpet because he is one of the team members of the governor.

“This is purely an impeachable offence, if this is found to be true, it is an impeachable offence and we are really watching the House of Assembly members to see how they are going to follow this through and to see their action and steps they will take when this letter is brought to the floor of the House.

“Thank God we are not having the usual robber stamp House of Assembly in Ogun state now. We have very responsible, very committed members of PDP who are also in the House of Assembly now and I’m sure from what we have heard from our members this morning they are already taking steps to ensure that the Rule of Law is being followed on this matter.

“We believe that he will bring the letter out and read on the floor of the House and we believe the members of the House will do the needful”.

Adebutu noted that the local government chairman’s outburst confirmed his allegation of diversion of N153billion local government funds by Abiodun.

He also called on the anti-graft agencies to investigate Abiodun for allegedly embezzling local government funds.

Adebutu lamented that the Abiodun-led administration had rendered local government administration redundant and stifled the development at the grassroots level.

“The money that was meant to be used by the local government to make the lives of the people better is being siphoned. If you go around Ogun state, all the trunk C roads, local government roads are in terrible states.

“The local government chairmen are just sitting down warming the benches at their respective local governments. We are very glad that this is coming from a serving local government chairman, we have been vindicated.

“The truth has actually prevailed, we will follow this through, the party and my principal will follow this through the petitions he has written to EFCC and ICPC to ensure that they actually act on and these petitions are not swept under the carpet.

“We want EFCC and the ICPC who have received the letters from the Chairman of the Ijebu East local government area in Ogun state to act and beam their searchlight into what has happened to the N153b of Ogun state local government since the inception of Dapo Abiodun-led administration,” Adebutu said.

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