The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Ondo State chapter has invited Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate Zenith Bank and the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration on why it failed to disclose but spent N4.3 billion it discovered in a secret bank account.
A statement signed by Zadok Akintoye, Director of Media and Publicity of PDP alleged that the party’s independent investigation revealed that the All Progressives Congress-led state government had something to hide about the money discovered in the Zenith Bank account.
PDP alleged that if the lawmakers in the state House of Assembly had not raised questions on the money, the Governor Akeredolu-led administration would not have disclosed it discovered and withdrew the money.
“Investigation by our party has shown that the Akeredolu-led ODSG 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.
“For the records, the Honorable Commissioner for Information lied when he alleged that the ODSG discovered the funds hidden in an account with the bank.
“The domiciled funds which was deposited in a call account was disclosed to the Akeredolu-led government which consequently took over the bank account. What is however worrisome is that the Ondo State government never disclosed the said funds as part of the funds handed over to it as part of the assets its inherited.
“We must therefore ask how this fund was accounted for or captured in the records of government. If the funds were captured as revenue earned within that 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.”
PDP therefore raised questions such as “What was the initial amount deposited into that call account on behalf of the ODSG? Who was in charge of managing the account on behalf of the ODSG? 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?
Having calculated the expected interest that should have accrued to the N4.3 billion in 10 years at 15 percent interest rate, PDP asked for the whereabouts of the 10.7billion accrued interest/earnings on the fund.
PDP, therefore, said: “It has become very important that the APC-led Ondo State Government be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over its lack of disclosure on the alleged N4.3B “discovered” to have been kept in a Zenith Bank account.”
The issue of the N4.3 billion discovered in a secret account by the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration came to fore when the state House of Assembly invited the state Accountant General, Olaolu Akinkuolie, and the Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa, to explain how the money was expended.