By Kolade Larewaju
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has summoned the Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Mr. Tunji Egbetokun to appear before it Friday over allegations of illegal deductions from Local Government funds in the state by the Governor Olugbenga Daniel-led administration.
The summons is coming on the heels of a petition by the suspended Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye, alleging illegal deductions from the local government accounts by Governor Daniel.
Deputy Speaker of the House and Chairman of the House Committee on Justice, Ethics and Public Petitions, Mr. Remmy Hassan disclosed the EFCC’s summons Thursday at a meeting of the committee aimed at finding out the true position of the alleged deductions.
The committee had invited the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Kehinde Sogunle, Accountant General; Mr. Babatunde Salawu, Commissioner for Local Government, Mr. Tunde Alabi and the Local Government Chairman, Mr. Tunde Oladunjoye for a meeting on the petition so that the House would have a true picture of the issues.
But while Oladunjoye and Sogunle appeared, the commissioner for local government and the Accountant General did not turn up with information that the Accountant General was away in Abuja â€œon state duties.â€
The Deputy Speaker, Mr. Hassan lamented the non appearance of the two key functionaries, saying their presence was very important because of the â€œgermane and broad nature of the petition.â€
He said â€œwe were just copied the petition which was sent to the EFCC and we are still to take a position on the petition concerning the dissolution of the local government. The speaker was invited by the EFCC on Monday, but he got there late.
â€œThe investigating police officer was not there and he has been asked to come back tomorrow [today]. What the House wanted to do is convene this meeting so that we can know the truth and what to give the EFCC, but these key officials are not here. As it stands now, only God knows what will happen.â€
He then directed that the meeting be summoned again for Monday and, apart from the Clerk writing the affected officials, the meeting should be given the widest publicity on the electronic media in the state â€œso that even a man in his grave will hear about it.â€
He said â€œwe will have to beg the EFCC to shift the date and time for us, but I do not know for how long we will do that.â€
He then directed the commissioner for finance to instruct the Accountant General to come with him to the sitting slated for Monday, adding that the House would have to take a firm position in respect of the allegation on that day.
The suspended Chairman, Mr. Oladunjoye who came with councillors from the local government said he would be at the sitting to defend his petition.
Oladunjoye had been engaged in a running battle with Governor Daniel over the alleged illegal deductions from the council even before the dissolution of the local government and appointment of a caretaker committee by Governor Daniel.
Following his petition on the deductions, the EFCC had about three weeks ago frozen the accounts of the Local Government â€œpending investigationâ€.