Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo State House of Assembly has declared that it will do everything within its constitutional power to unravel the circumstances surrounding the discovery of a sum of N4.3 billion belonging to the state government in a secret account in a bank.
Further revelations concerning the fund came to the fore at the plenary on Thursday when the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon Edamisan Ademola reeled out the list of banks which at various times benefitted from the alleged secret transactions.
He challenged the competence of the Accountant General of the state for failing to produce necessary documents bearing the transactions and the accrued interest to date. He maintained that if the statements of financial transactions in the listed banks are not supplied as requested, the House would be forced to take necessary legal steps.
Among other details, the House sought to know the source of the fund, the date the money was lodged into the alleged secret account, the person who authorised the lodging and the accrued interest to date. The House equally sought to know how the money which members claimed was not appropriated was spent.
Responding, the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Akinterinwa pledged to provide the necessary documents as requested by the House. The Speaker of the House, Hon. Oleyelogun Bamidele had mandated the Commissioner and the Accountant General to furnish the House with documents on the alleged secret transaction.
The issue of the N4.3 billion naira stashed in a secret bank account was earlier raised at a plenary on Tuesday by the Chairman, Public Accounts Committee, Hon. Edamisan Ademola, following an audit query from the office of the State Auditor General.
The Finance Commissioner claimed he facilitated the recovery of the money kept in a secret account over 10 years ago. Also summoned were the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Igbasan and the Chairman of ONDIPA, Mr. Boye Oyewunmi.