The governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, has said his administration is ready to subject the local government accounts for investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Mr. Oshiomhole said this in response to a call by the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dan Orbih, for the EFCC to probe the state’s local government accounts.
The PDP chairman had blamed the financial crisis in local government areas in the state on Mr. Oshiomhole.
“We have more than enough materials to nail the corrupt practices of the political leaders in Edo State starting with the governor,” Mr. Orbih had said.
He said the council chairmen earn between N1.2million and N1.7 million each every month as security votes, while the legislative arm of the councils earn about N1 million each as security votes.
He, however, noted that what the council chairmen collected was nowhere close to the over N500 million Mr. Oshiomhole draws monthly in security votes.
“Here is a governor asking council chairmen to forfeit N1.2 million per month but who cannot forfeit N500 million. The total security vote of the councils in a year is about what Oshiomhole collects every month.
“He brought this hardship upon the people and he is now trying to absolve himself. He impressed upon the council chairmen not to cry out but one good thing is that the Edo people already know the truth. Edo people must sit up and reflect on the deception of Oshiomhole and his party and make the right choice next year,” he stated.
But speaking through his Special Adviser, Media and Public Affairs, Kassim Afegbua, the governor said probe should start from 1999 when the PDP ruled the state until November 2008 when he took over.
“As a government driven by prudence in its management of resources, we are proud to say that our achievements in the last six years far supersede that of the PDP’s ten years of presiding over the state.
“We are pleased to state without fear or favour that we welcome the suggestion raised by Dan Orbih inviting the EFCC to look into the books and accounts of Local Government Administration in the last six years but that such investigation should also cover the period between 1999 and 2008.
“Such investigation should also look into the allocations and expenditures of the Local Government, their procurement procedures, who did the procurements, at what costs and the total accruals into the coffers of local government accounts across the state within that period of 1999 to 2008.
“From such investigative effort, the public would be able to know who siphoned Local Government funds between the Government of Comrade Oshiomhole and that presided over by the PDP for ten years. This should be the real challenge in the light of on-going effort to sanitize the inherited rotten system from the PDP,” he said.
Mr. Oshiomhole also called on the PDP to publish all accruals to local government councils in the state between 1999 and 2008 and how the over N300 billion released to the Federal Ministry of Works under the former Minister, Tony Anenih, was spent.