By Ola Ajayi
Following the allegation by the immediate past governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, that his successor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, intentionally withheld his May salary, Ajimobi says, Alao-Akala lacked the moral right to make the claim, having violated a court order that forbade him(Akala) not to pay his severance allowance.
Ajimobi, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Communication, Dr. Festus Adedayo, explained that the non-payment of the salary of the ex-governor and that of his aides was informed by the minimum wage of N18, 000 paid to the workers in the state.
The governor said there was nothing left in the state treasury after paying the minimum wage, adding that, in contravention of an injunction taken against him by a law court, Akala flagrantly paid himself and his aides 300 per cent of their annual salaries, which equal three-year salary, as severance package, leaving the treasury dry after.
He stressed that the action and financial recklessness by the Alao-Akala government had literally brought the state on its canvass.
He said the former governor disregarded a lawful court judgment obtained by some retired judges that he should stop from paying either himself or his political office holders their severance allowances.
Akala, he said, disregarded this lawful judgment and, with impunity, emptied the treasury to pay a package which, in law, was supposed to be paid by the incoming government.
According to Ajimobi, payment of the May salary in the state came in the heat of labour agitations for increment of salaries and due to the paucity of funds and the governor’s decision to prioritize payment of the increment as agitated by workers, there was no money left to pay political appointees.