By Dayo Johnson
Akure – AHEAD of the state broadcast on the state of the finances of Ondo State by Governor Olusegun Mimiko, the state government today alleged that it has discovered that the immediate past administration operated some secret accounts.
Controversy had trailed the finances of the state with the governor Dr Mimiko saying that the debt profile left by Dr Olusegun Agagu administration was enormous while said that over N38b was left in the coffer.
While the controversies rage, Dr Mimiko pleaded with the people of the state to be patient with him while his administration exposes the financial mess perpetrated by the last administration of Dr Agagu in an address to the state lawmakers and the people of the state adding that strange financial discoveries are springing up on daily basis.
However, the governor who spoke in Akure through his Information Commissioner Ranti Akerele said that the discovery â€œis one of the reasons the current administration does not want to hastily declare the financial status of the state when Mimiko took over on February 24.
Akerele said that the last administration â€œdeliberately muddled the finances of the state and the new governor needed to painstakingly unravel the secrecy shrouding some of the accounts.
But in a swift reaction the former Finance Commissioner Tayo Alasoadura denied saying that â€œDr. Agagu did not operate any secret account. He was never a signatory to any state government account.
â€œThe accounts were operated through me and the accountant general. But if they have discovered any secret account, let them make it public as get whoever behind it arrested. â€œIt is a ploy to deceive the people but we are happy that the people of our state are wiser and they will not allow anybody to deceive them.â€
However, Akerele said that the last administration â€œought to have prepared a handover note for Mimiko having been sacked by the Justice Garba Nabaruma-led Election Petitions Tribunal in July last year.
â€œWe recently discovered two state government accounts with some banks in Lagos State. The accounts were secretly run by the past administration. There would have been discrepancies in the figure if the Governor had rushed to declare the financial status of the state immediately he took over.
Akerele pointed out that â€œPeople should ask Dr. Agagu why he refused to prepare any handover notes despite having seven months to prepare for his exit after the verdict of the lower tribunal.â€
The commissioner accused the PDP in the state of trying to stampede the new governor to give a figure so that they could use the discrepancy which would arise from it against him.
Akerele noted that the party knows the magnitude of the â€œshady deals the past administration was involved in hence the blackmail that the governor should tell the public the state of the finances.
The Commissioner pointed out that the governorâ€ meant well for the people of the state by not allowing himself to be stampeded by the opposition.