30th August, 2020.
A civil society organisation established to promote good governance and social justice known as The People’s Voice Advocacy Network has registered her reservations on the manner in which the panel of inquiry set up by the Kwara State Government is carrying out the task to look into the ₦300m LG funds which was allegedly mismanaged.
In the press statements released by the group, the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the group, Comrade Olaitan Abdulraheem, stated that the tasks of the panel should not be restricted to the investigation of the acclaimed mismanagement of ₦300million LG funds alone rather the search light should equally be beamed on how Kwara State Government led by Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq manages the entire LG Funds in the last one year of his administration. This request may not be unconnected with the fact that the governor has been the sole administrator of the 16 LGs in the last one year or thereabout.
“The panel’s investigation into the alleged mismanagement of ₦300million LG funds is not an end but a means to it. Rather than wasting time and resources on just a single segment, the group demands that a holistic investigation and probe into how LG funds have been managed in the last one year should be the way to go as that would definitely lead to the missing N300m.
Interestingly, the first and second quarters reports of 2020 has enough revelations and can be a manual guide for Retired Justice Adewara-led panel of inquiry.
“We believe that the panel already got the needed instructions to dig out facts from speculations, if actually they have genuine mission to do an excellent job in the interest of the governed. More reason the Civil Society organization demanding that the panel search light should begin from the root, and not on the surface. Any conscious being can easily spot loopholes in the report circulated on social media. Or is it another way of distracting people’s attention from raising pertinent questions on more important issues? As the two reports circulated didn’t bear any official name nor signature”, said Olaitan.
“The report of Retired Justice Mathew Adewara-led panel further reaffirmed the position of the governed in the ongoing investigation that nothing good may come out of it. The non submission of memorandum by members of the public, despite the panel’s advertisement on both printed and broadcast media, is a signal that the State government had lost the public trust that ushered her into office, especially on area of Transparency and accountability.
The group further claimed that there are some discrepancies in the released data made available by the Governor’s spokesman and the revelation coming from LG Officials who were interrogated by the Panel team.
“Both the spokesman of the Governor and Party Mouthpiece had earlier confirmed to the general public that the 15% salary arrears LG and SUBEB teachers paid early this year was as a result of the money saved after completion of loan repayment that ended in September. To our surprise, a contrary report emerged during the facts finding from LG staff which revealed that the loan repayment actually ended in December. May we refer the Adewara led Panel to peruse the 4th quarter of 2019 report that confirmed that there was no Loan Repayment by LG to any Financial institution?
The group hereby ask the following questions:
- Where is the receipt of LG share from FAAC since May 2019 till date?
- Where are the documents that confirmed the receipt of 10% share from the IGR from May 2019 till date?
- What is the Wage Bill of LG and SUBEB respectively?
- How much was saved after salary payment since September 2019 LG finished her Loan repayment and how much was used to pay the 15% in January this year?
- Where is the receipt that confirmed that ₦100million has been expended monthly for gratuities from May 2019 till date even when fact available shows that not every month even it went as low as 30m, 40m and 60m?
- The Group is worried about the news of one of the two Super Commissioners(Accused and the accuser) resigned her appointment. The group urges the Panel to invite the two Commissioners for interrogation as regards the missing 300m and make the report available within the Time.
In the public interest, we hope the panel will dig into the above raised issues and be transparent in her report.
Comrade Olaitan Abdulraheem,
Assistant Publicity Secretary,
The People’s Voice Advocacy Network