The former deputy speaker of Ogun State House of Assembly, Oludare Kadiri, has alleged that his signature was forged to swindle the assembly of about N50 million.
Kadiri stated this during an interview with selected journalists in Abeokuta over the weekend.
The lawmaker, who represents Ijebu North Constituency 2, was impeached in March over allegations of gross misconduct.
The ex-deputy speaker was also accused of insubordination to the Office of the Speaker, abuse of office, threat to lives and property, conduct likely to cause a breach of peace and attempted murder, committed in his constituency.
But Kadiri explained that he was impeached for asking for accountability in the finances of the assembly, being the Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Finance.
He said that for raising questions, he was impeached and removed from all committees in the House of Assembly.
“I’m just coming back from abroad, I’ve been on medical leave for about two months. I was on bed when I saw a report online and attached to it is a document with my signature. Like two to three days later, I got a call from the EFCC asking me to come.
“I went there on Monday. They asked me one or two questions and they showed me my signature and asked if I was the one that sent it out. I said no. They asked me about the signature and I told them I don’t know anything about that signature and I didn’t collect any money.
“I was aware that the Speaker, being the leader of the House, should be able to explain things about the signature. That was all and they allowed me to go.
I know the EFCC is investigating the House. I was impeached because I was asking questions, and I felt the speaker was not open about the accountability of the House. When I was the deputy speaker, I don’t know all about the finances of the House, the amount the executive was giving us. I don’t know about our running cost.
“How can I be the chairman of the committee who will sign a document to everyone that the money was spent in the judiciary and I don’t know anything about it? That led to the impeachment.
“He (the Speaker) removed me from all committees in the House. I don’t belong to any committee anymore. Yet, I didn’t talk,” he said.
According to Kadiri, he saw at the EFCC office, bundles of documents with the signatures of many members of the House, adding that his own signature on the documents were forged.
“What I saw online was just two documents. I saw bundles of documents at the EFCC office with my signature forged on it. A very big Ghana-must-go bag with my fake signatures and other members signatures.
“They claimed that I collected money like N2 million, N400,000, N3 million, N4 million, N1 million at different times in the last two years. They said I went to foreign trainings, I went for seminars, slept in hotels. Which foreign training? Since I came, I have never been to any training or seminar and I didn’t sign any document.
“The money they said I signed was an average of N50 million. It can’t be less than that for my own alone,” he said.
When asked who he suspects to have forged his signature, Kadiri said the speaker “should be able to explain.”
“The Speaker should be able to answer the question because he is the chief executive officer of the House. Everything goes through him. So, it’s Mr Speaker that I will allege, probably with some other people but I don’t know.
“He was the one that took the documents to EFCC, so he should be the one to tell us. That’s the question I want to ask when I go back to the office on Tuesday that, who forged this signature? I will speak for myself, I don’t know about other people. EFCC said they will be calling others at the appropriate time.
“Normally our monthly maintenance allowance comes into our accounts. So, I can only be responsible for the money paid into my account. All the money being alleged was released in cash through the banks. So, the Speaker should be able to explain how he was using my signature to go and collect money in the bank,” the former deputy speaker said.
Kadiri also denied insinuations in some quarters that the former Governor Ibikunle Amosun has been sponsoring him to destabilise the house.
He told journaliststhe last time he saw Amosun was when he was still the governor of the state.
But in a swift reaction, the Speaker of the Assembly, Kunle Oluomo, dismissed Kadiri’s allegation, saying he is not in charge of payment in the state legislature.
In a statement by his office, Oluomo said: “That is not true. I am not the accounting officer of the House and not in charge of payments. Besides, you recall sometimes ago after his impeachment by 19 out of 26 members, he called me a thief in a video; that is already in court.
“Maybe when I see this one somewhere also, I will join it with the one in court as I have already sued him and his media collaborators.
“Finally, the onus is on him to prove that. The House doesn’t even have that type of money.”