The Ondo State Government has dismissed reports that its officials have been quizzed by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the N4.3b secret deposit. It described the report as fake news and a hoax.
The N4.3bn which was discovered to have been kept in a bank account for over 10 years was retrieved and spent in the 2019 fiscal year. A report in one of the national dailies claimed that Ondo State Finance Commissioner, Mr. Wale Akinterinwa and the Accountant General, Mr Laolu Akindolire were quizzed by the EFCC over the N4.3bn.
Mr Donald Ojogo the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation in a press statement said the report was mischievous. He added that the report was a gross display of mischief and an abysmal display of ignorance by those who initiated and disseminated it.
“If the report was intended to expose the paucity of ideas and the futility of a naked public square dance to elicit attraction, it may have succeeded. But if it was intended to distract the Government of Ondo State from its focus and commitment to good governance, it missed the point because we won’t provide a path for such.
“For the records, the said fund was discovered by the current commissioner for Finance in 2018 and the said fund was duly appropriated for in the 2019 budget passed by the State Assembly. Mr Akinterinwa never lodged the money in a Bank as erroneously painted in the report. Daily Independent’s conclusion was a hurriedly but unprofessionally packaged hatchet job that defied logic.
“The doubtful credibility of the report shows it was a futile hunt for relevance. The fact that the reporter and his platform failed to know that the 2019 Appropriation Act passed by the State Assembly included the sum of N4.3b gives credence to our assertion,”Ojogo said
Head of Media and Publicity, EFCC, Mr. Dele Oyewale, who spoke to journalists in Akure via phone, said no EFCC operative was in Ondo State to quiz any government official. Oyewale said he explained the truth to the reporter and was disappointed at what was eventually published. “I’m highly disappointed in that reporter who wrote the story; if he has any personal issue to settle with the Ondo State Government, he should not use the EFCC as a vehicle. “There was no such operation on officials of the Ondo State Government. The reporter in question called me and I told him there was nothing of such; so for him to go ahead and write such a report shows how unprofessional some of us can be.”Oyewale said