Kwara: Fresh Facts Emerge on Alleged Diversion of LG Funds

Kwara: Fresh Facts Emerge on Alleged Diversion of LG Funds

The Retired Justice Matthew Adewara-led panel of inquiry into the alleged diversion of N300m monthly from LG funds has begun unravelling some facts.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had earlier inaugurated the panel of inquiry to investigate allegations that his administration was diverting N300m of LG funds every month.

At its sitting on Thursday, the panel received briefings from the Directors of Personnel Management (DPM) and their Accountants from Asa, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, and Ilorin West Local Government Areas.

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Members of the panel interrogated the Local Government officials in respect of their payrolls, bank accounts, bank statements, statutory allocation papers, schedules of Local Government internally generated revenues, and cash books.

The DPM, Asa Local Government (LG), Abdullah Haruna told the panel he was not aware of any diversion of funds meant for his local government, saying no such record exists to the best of his knowledge.

Oyebami Gabriel of Ilorin East Local Government also denied knowledge of the N300m allegedly being diverted from his local government funds.

Gabriel disclosed that the state government under Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has never borrowed any money to pay salaries on behalf of the local government workers.

The DPM, Ilorin South Local Government, Abdulkareem Magaji also insisted that no money was being diverted from his local government funds.

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Corroborating, the Accountant of the council, Emmanuel Audu said the State government in 2018 took a loan of N4bn from a commercial bank to pay two months salaries and pensions of local government workers and SUBEB teachers and had been fully paid back by the 16 local governments as at December 2019.

Audu added that another N1.6bn loan taken on behalf of the LGs by the past administration in the state would be fully paid by August 2022.

In the same vein, the DPM, Ilorin West Local Government, Ayantola Mukaila said the Local Government has been receiving its due allocation since May 2019 while staff and SUBEB teachers also get their salaries regularly since May 2019.

While addressing the respondents, the chairman of the panel, Justice Matthew Adewara clarified that the commission was on a fact-finding mission into the allegation of diversion of funds from the 16 Local Government Areas of the State between May 2019 and July 2020 and not to probe any personality.

The hearing continues with local government councils in Kwara South on Friday.

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