…. reveal N5.6b loans taken by last regime
By Joe Adedeji, Ilorin
The Directors of Personnel Management (DPMs) of the 16 Local Governments currently being probed by a government panel have denied a loss of N300 million in their councils.
A retired Justice Mathew Adewara-Panel of Inquiry had been set up by the government to look into an alleged diversion of N300m monthly from Local Government funds in the state
The Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq had earlier inaugurated the panel to investigate allegations that his administration was diverting N300m of Local Government funds every month.
At its sitting on Thursday, the panel was told by the DPMs and their Accountants from Asa, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, and Ilorin West Local Governments that there were no records records of deductions of money respectively, from their allocations from May, 2019 till date.
They had been holding sway in their respective council areas when their erstwhile chairmen were placed on suspension.
The panel had been investigating the 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 Abdullah Haruna on his part told the panel that 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.
His words; “I don’t know anything about N300m. From my side, I don’t know anything about any such thing.” Ditto his counterpart;
Oyebami Gabriel of Ilorin East Local Government who denied knowledge of the N300m being allegedly diverted from his local government funds.
“I don’t know anything about it at all. All the accrued allocations to my local government do come” adding
that the state government under tge present governor (AbdulRazaq) never borrowed any money to pay salaries on behalf of the local government workers from them..
The DPM, Ilorin South Local Government, Abdulkareem Magaji corroborated his colleagues’ cksim that no money was being diverted from their funds.
“As far as I am concerned, there is no diversion of funds. To the best of my knowledge no any amount of money is diverted from Ilorin South local government funds,” he said.
Corroborating, his Accountant, 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 which had been fully paid back by the 16 local governments as at December 2019.
Audu added that another N1.6bn loan took 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 was receiving its due allocation since May 2019 while staff and SUBEB teachers also get their salaries regularly since May 2019.
While addressing them, chairman of the panel; Justice Mathew Adewara clarified that the commission was on a fact finding into the allegation of diversion of funds in the 16 local government areas of the state between May, 2019 and July 2020 and not to probe anything personal.
“We are not prosecuting you. We are to investigate the alleged diversion of N300m from Local government funds. We will do our jobs based on the terms of references given to us.” he concluded.