…Secret police says not ready to interrogate suspended chairman
….Abiodun visits detained Chairman in DSS custody
The Department of State Services has detained the suspended Chairman of Ijebu-East Local Government Area, Wale Adedayo, who accused Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun of diverting statutory Federal Allocation due to the state’s local governments in the last two years.
The PUNCH exclusively gathered that the DSS has also failed to interrogate Mr Adedayo who arrived at their facility close to the Governor’s office, Oke-Imosan, Abeokuta, at about 11:45 am on Friday, following an invitation by the secret police.
Meanwhile, moments after Adedayo’s arrival at the DSS office, Governor Abiodun was seen driving into the DSS facility and later met with the suspended chairman at the operations desk.
“The DSS has detained Wale Adedayo just now. They asked us to leave, that they’re not ready to interrogate him yet. But they were the ones that kept calling him since morning to come to their office for interrogation, and he arrived at about 11:45 am, but he was not allowed to go in with his mobile phone” a family source told our correspondent on Friday.
An eyewitness and well-wisher, who simply identified himself as Jide, also said, “The DSS had just chased us away from their office here in Abeokuta close to the governor’s office. They said they’re not ready to investigate the chairman for now. But the governor was here hours ago, and he left around 4:00 pm, but he met with the chairman before he left.”
Adedayo had earlier confirmed to The PUNCH that he honoured the invitation of the secret police, adding that he would appear before the State House of Assembly over the matter.
The PUNCH reports that Adedayo had raised the alarm in a letter to elder statesman, Chief Olusegun Osoba, and a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission demanding the investigation of the governor over alleged mismanagement of local government funds..
He was subsequently suspended by councillors while Abiodun denied the allegation.
Meanwhile, the Ogun State House of Assembly has barred journalists from covering the probe of alleged diversion of Local government funds.
The Assembly had directed the state Accountant General, Babatunde Aregbesola and all members of the State Joint Account Allocation Committee to appear before it on Friday.
Following Adedayo’s letter, the Speaker of the Assembly summoned the state Accountant General and JAAC members to provide the House explanation on how LG funds have been expended in the State.
Our correspondent gathered that Adedayo was also expected to appear before the House on Friday. When journalists arrived at the Assembly on Friday, security operatives at the gate of the Assembly prevented journalists from gaining access to the Assembly complex in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
All efforts to reach the Chairman House Committee on Information, Segun Kaka proved abortive as he neither answered calls put across to him nor replied to text messages sent to him.
A member of the Assembly who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “An order came from above” not to allow journalists into the Assembly.
Meanwhile, policemen and thugs on Thursday morning stormed the secretariat of the Ijẹbu-East Local Government Area, while some councillors formed a quorum to suspend Adedayo as chairman.
Eyewitnesses who spoke to our correspondent on Thursday said the mobile policemen numbering over a hundred, arrived at the LGA secretariat at Ọgbẹrẹ alongside some political thugs, at about 9 a.m.
“Over a hundred mobile policemen just invaded Ijẹbu-East LGA secretariat this morning around 9 am. They came with some thugs to impeach the chairman, Wale Adedayo, on the order of governor Dapo Abiodun,” an eyewitness who simply identified himself as Tunde, said.
Segun, another eyewitness said, “The impeachment of the LGA chairman is currently ongoing, and there are so many police officers here, more than 100 of them. We heard that the order was from Governor Dapo Abiodun,”
Adedayo accused Abiodun of withholding the statutory Federal Allocation due to the state’s local governments in the last two years. According to the council boss, Abiodun has not paid a dime to Local government accounts as Federal allocation in the last two years.
Adedayo in separate petitions to EFCC and ICPC on Tuesday called for the urgent intervention of the anti-graft agencies.
The council boss in the petition, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent on Tuesday also accused the governor of denying the local government chairmen of the Ecological fund and other entitlements due to them.
The petition reads in part, “Your urgent intervention is sorely needed to convince the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, that the statutory Federal Allocation to Local Governments in Ogun State should be allowed to reach each of them as envisaged by the 1999 Constitution.
“Since we (Ogun State Local Government Chairmen) got on board in 2021, it has been ZERO Federal Allocation to each local government. The 10 per cent of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue, which the Constitution also stipulated should go to the local governments has not been given since Abiodun got into office. You may want to deploy the instruments of your office to confirm the veracity of my claim as well.
“Former President Muhammadu Buhari assisted the states and Local Governments with what we call palliatives today. They called it, SURE-P. The first sent to the 20 local governments in Ogun State was N2.5 billion. The second one was, N2.6 billion.
“The third was, N2.8 billion, while the fourth shortly before Buhari left office was N2.9 billion. Not a dime of these funds was released to ANY local government in Ogun State.
“The Ogun State Executive Committee of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria had a meeting with the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, early this year.
“The Commissioner claimed that the 20 local governments owe the Ogun State Government N17 billion, which they continue to deduct. But I know for a fact that my Ijebu East Local Government is NOT owing Abeokuta one Naira! Kindly use your good offices to verify this fact.
“We have also heard about Ecological funds and others. These have developed wings too without trace. It is certain that the current one being packaged by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu may likely follow the same course.
“And, we are the ones the people will abuse. I am the butt of jokes in my local government right now, with many saying one is incompetent. Meanwhile, the Federal Government regularly made these funds available, but it has NEVER been disbursed to us since we were sworn in.
“Truly, denying local governments their due Federal Allocations in Ogun State began during the Administration of former Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. And, as it is happening today, it was based on a spurious claim of helping some local governments, who may not be able to fulfil their obligations to the people because of financial challenges.
“Thus, all the funds are regularly collected into a central purse from where salaries and other dues are paid. Whatever is left is often claimed by the State Government as debts being paid by the local governments.
“Revenue sources, which the local governments should benefit from have mostly been taken over by the State Government. Motor Parks and attendant dues which should go to each local government are being centrally managed by the State Government. Primary school administration and control have been taken over too.
”There are many others. But, what I crave is for you to assist in helping our people. Why have they taken over the revenue sources of the local government? How do they want the grassroots to breathe? In Ijebu East Local Government Area, we have a complete rural section. Our people need roads, especially in the interior. They need water. The Health Centres are nothing to write home about.
”The primary schools are something else. It is a crying shame that, in 2023 some of our people still depend on water from the stream to drink. Be assured that I am readily available to answer any question about what I have written here.”