Kwara govt, former speaker clash over siphoned N5bn allegation | Dailytrust

Kwara govt, former speaker clash over siphoned N5bn allegation

The Kwara State Government on Wednesday hit back at the former House of Assembly Speaker Ali Ahmad over his comment that the government unfairly accused him and his colleagues of siphoning public funds.

The former speaker of the Kwara state house of assembly Ali Ahmad, in a statement on Tuesday exonerated the 8th assembly from any financial misappropriation as accused by the EFCC saying throughout the lifetime of the 8th Assembly, all Committees had full independence regarding their operations and funds management in accordance with the Standing Rules of the House.

“Kwarans doubt if the state government is interested in finance of the State or rather in the old-fashioned bullying and mudslinging against perceived opponents. Otherwise, how would you want to pull down the whole house claiming a phantom N5 billion, where only little sum was implicated and where just one Honourable member was involved? Our political history teaches that one of the signs of potential failure of a government is using state agencies to bully the opposition, or even potential opponents in the same political party. In other fair and equitable democracies, such  tactics has been a solid ground for impeachment.

“It is surprising that the present government in Kwara State did not appear to know that when we worked with the past Executive to create the KWIRS in 2016 because the State IGR was around N500 million a month, we were under no illusion that the move was unpopular and would cause heavy political deficit. But we knew it was the only way to go to secure the future of the State. Before long, the State became a model for other States in tax administration. However, in trying to smear ex-officials, the present administration in Kwara State could be causing collateral  damage to institutions strenuously nurtured like our Legislative House, and  to strong agencies like the award-wining Kwara State Internal Revenue Service.

But the state government in a reaction to the former speaker signed the Chief Press Secretary to governor, Rafiu Ajakaye said,  “A careful reading of our statement showed that we neither accused him nor the former House members of embezzlement. The EFCC did. And we are aware that the anti-graft agency, true to its position, has started recovering stolen public funds from PDP council members and House of Assembly members.

“Also, the Kwara public has been around long enough to distinguish between political witch-hunt, harassment of dissents, and a fair attempt to make officials fully accountable for their deeds through lawful means.

“Finally, we hereby accept the challenge Ahmad has thrown at this administration. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the activities of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) and make public our findings about what truly went down in the period under discourse.”

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