Ondo Assembly quizzes Akeredolu’s govt over N4.3 billion in secret account

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Following the discovery of N4.3 billion in a secret account found with a third generation bank, the Ondo State House of Assembly has vowed to unearth the deal surrounding the money allegedly stashed for over 10 years.With the development begging for answers in the state, it was gathered that the money which was kept in the secret account by the late Governor Olusegun Agagu-led government, had already been spent alongside the interest accrued to it by the present administration of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu without the authorization of the State House of Assembly.With the discovery of money, the House summoned the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa and the Accountant-General of the state, Mr Laolu Akindolire, to the plenary to explain how the money was found and withdrawn by the executive without the approval of the Assembly.The Speaker of the House, Bamidele Oloyeloogun, directed the Commissioner for Finance and the Accountant-General to produced all the necessary documents bearing the transactions and the accrued interests to date and bring them before the House next Thursday.Responding, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa pledged to provide the necessary documents as requested by the House.Speaking after the session, the House Committee Chairman on Public Accounts, Mr Ademola Edamisan said he would get to the root of the matter.The lawmaker who represents Irele Constituency, said since the money had been in a fixed account for over 10 years, the House was interested in the interests it must have generated for over 10 years.He said, “They ( executive) claimed they have recovered N4.3 billion from the money but the committee is keenly interested in the actual interests generated for over 10 years, and we requested for a comprehensive details of the account.“The committee is interested in the full details on how the account is being operated over the years, who authorized the opening of the account, who are the signatories and when was the account opened.“We hope the Commissioner and the Accountant-General will come out with the comprehensive details of the account, so we will be able to calculate the interest so far in the account.“The committee discovered after a thorough investigation that the said money has been transferred from the initial account in Zenith Bank to another six different state government bank accounts in less than five months within the period of February to June 2018,”Meanwhile, the Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, in a statement said that concerted efforts were made to take a comprehensive inventory of all assets and liabilities of government which include liquidity status.Ojogo said the Commissioner for Finance, Akinterinwa, through his vigilance and discrete financial intelligence was able to stumble on the alleged secret account.He further stressed that neither the Finance Commissioner nor the Accountant-General was in charge as at when the said account was opened more than ten years ago.“The invitation of the Finance Commissioner by the House of Assembly and indeed, same extended to both the State Accountant-General and the Auditor-General are in line with government’s desire to make as transparent as possible, the management of our commonwealth in Ondo State.”

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