The Ondo State House of Assembly says it will do everything within its powers to unravel the circumstances surrounding the stashing of N4.3 billion in a secret account in a third generation bank.
Further revelations concerning the fund came to the fore at plenary when the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Honourable Edamisan Ademola, reeled out the list of banks at various times that benefitted from the alleged secret transactions.
Edamisan 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 were not supplied as requested, the House would be forced to take necessary steps as entrenched in the constitution.
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 wanted 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 Finance Commissioner claimed he facilitated the recovery of the money kept in a secret account over 10 years ago.
Speaking, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon Bamidele Oleyelogun , mandated the commissioner and the Accountant General to furnish the House with documents on the alleged secret transactions on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ondo State, on Friday called for proper investigation into the alleged discovery of the fund stashed in a third-generation bank.
The PDP in a statement signed by its Director of Media and Publicity, Zadok Akintoye, said it was worrisome that the Ondo State Government never disclosed the said funds as part of the funds handed over to it or as part of the assets it inherited.
The PDP queried if the fund was accounted for or captured in the records of the government of if the funds were captured as revenue earned within a period.
“It will be criminal and illegal and an attempt to defraud the state, as such funds (if captured as part of IGR) would attract a commission payable to the tax consultants of the state. This is illegal and a criminal breach of trust on the part of the Akeredolu-led government.
“Investigation by our party has shown that the Akeredolu-led government is being economical with the truth and has violated the law with its intentions not to disclose the receipt of such funds until it was recently probed by the Ondo State House of Assembly,” the statement said.
He added: “What was the initial amount deposited into that call account on behalf of the ODSG and who was in charge of managing the account on behalf of the state government
“Why was there no disclosure of the account made until the ODHA inquiry, how was the fund spent?
“Were the projects allegedly executed with the funds catered for in the 2020 Appropriation Bill? If yes, how did the government account for the earnings from this account?
“Was there an attempt by the immediate past government to conceal the account as inferred in the mischievous use of words in the statement credited to the ODSG?
“If the funds had allegedly been saved for over 10 years, would it not be right to assume that there is an accrued interest to the credit of the state?”
Akintoye called on the lawmakers to set aside party loyalty and do what it is statutorily mandated of them to do in ensuring that public funds and resources are expended on behalf of the people according to the law.
He also called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately investigate the allegations of misappropriation of public funds.