Oyo: Gov Makinde sets up panel to investigate Local Govt accounts

Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has inaugurated a seven-man panel to look into the accounts of the 33 local government councils and 35 local council development areas in state between January 2018 and May 2019.

He also inaugurated a five-member visitation panel each to look into the management crises in the Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki (TOPS) and The Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa (TIPE).

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The three-in-one events took place at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Agodi, Ibadan.

The seven-man panel set up to look into the accounts of the 68 LGAs and LCDAs, is chaired by Justice S.L. Popoola. The two other committees are chaired by retired permanent secretaries in the state civil service, Mr. Toyin Akanmu for TOPS, and Mr. Wole Oladokun. Members of the panels were drawn from the Ministry of Education, Auditor-General’s Office, Ministry of Justice, and Office of Head of Service.

Speaking on the committee set up to look into the accounts of LGAs and LCDAs, Makinde explained that the action was “highly needed at this point when there is a paucity of fund and also the need to re-strategise and define means to fund activities of the government.

“Let me reassure you that this government is not in any way going after the past administration. We are only setting the stage for our government to take off, and deliver the dividends of democracy to the entire citizenry.

“In fact, I must say that the committee we are inaugurating today is in pursuant to the Public Property Funds (Investigation and Recovery) Panel Law, Cap 138 Vol IV of the Oyo State Law 2000.

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“Section 3 of the law states thus: ‘Whenever it shall appear to the government of the state that any person or body of persons in the custody of any property, belonging to the government or any company in which the state government has any interest, however arising, or is accountable to the government for any contract entered into or purported to have been entered into between him and the government, or monies, which he may have collected on behalf of or for the purposes of the government, the governor may set up a panel to investigate or ascertain the identity and extent of such properties or fund, and make order for recovery of such property or fund.’

“The seven-man committee is expected to investigate any dealing with the funds of local government council, and local council development area, and other matters as they affect the local government, and retrieve all monies traceable to any individual, and impound any equipment traceable to any individual.

“We, therefore, give these committees six weeks to complete their assignments.”

Inaugurating the two visitation panels, Makinde said: “You are all aware that the two institutions have been engulfed in management crises, which have created tension for some time now. The crises escalated and reached the peak in the two institutions with the suspension of the substantive principal officers by their erstwhile governing councils on the allegations of fraudulent practices, and gross misconduct. Consequently, the affairs of each of these institutions are currently being run by acting management.

“The state government, in its bid to ensure continuous peace and academic progress in the institutions, has taken some steps such that the institutions are able to actualise their core mandates. Among these steps is the composition of a five-man visitation panel each to look into the ongoing management crises with a view to proffering implemental solutions.

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“The visitation panels have been mandated to commence work immediately and conclude the task within three weeks from the date of their inauguration.”

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