THE era of collective corruption, where the executive would be treating the State House of Assembly as an annex appears to be over in Osun State, as the 11 lawmakers on the platform of the Action Congress (AC) have petitioned the Code of Conduct Bureau on the N75 million the state government allegedly lodged into the private salary accounts of the 15 lawmakers on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to the petition signed by the AC lawmakers’ lawyer, Mr Tope Adebayo, the action of the PDP lawmakers, in collecting the N5 million largesse each, under the guise of Constituency Development Fund, was contrary to the provisions of items 1,6, and 9 of the fifth schedule of the 1999 constitution.
The AC parliamentarians then charged the bureau to set a machinery in motion, saying that the only way to halt arbitrary spending of public fund by the people in the position of authority, is to prosecute those who are converting the public money into their private use; noting that PDP lawmakers have violated some sections of the code.
They claimed that the PDP lawmakers took the second tranch of the controversial CDF fund, making N10 million each for individual lawmakers, only to show off at their constituencies as if they were performing.
“The respondents acted arbitrarily when they received N5 million each into their private accounts to perform the duties of execution of projects for their constituencies when they knew that they do not have the constitutional duties to execute projects,” the petition read.
It would be recalled that the 11 AC lawmakers on the instruction of their party quickly refunded the N55 million reportedly lodged into their personal salary accounts as CDF, a situation that compelled them to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the questionable lodgment.
The petition was signed by Timothy Owoeye (Ilesa West), Ademola Ajiboye (Ila), Tope Oyedele (Irepodun.Orolu) Salami Najeem (Ejigbo), Binuyo Ipoola (Ife North), Akintunde Adegboye (Osogbo), Fafowora Abiodun (Ilesa East), Awolola Abiodun (Egbedore), Salisile Ayobami (Iwo), Samson Fafiyebi (Obokun) Ajibola Olaide (Olorunda).
The AC lawmakers further stated that: “By accepting public funds into their private accounts to execute projects for their constituencies, we submit that each of the respondents (PDP lawmakers) have put themselves in a position, where their personal interest conflict with their duties and responsibilities.”
Reacting on the development, Honourable Oguntola Toogun, a chieftain of AC in the state said that the Code of Conduct Tribunal has the right to investigate and declare the seats of the guilty vacant before the prosecution.
“I think our lawmakers took the step rightly to correct the iniquities raging on in the State House of Assembly. If the Code of Conduct does its job right, it is capable of declaring the seats of the offenders vacant; which the EFCC cannot do and later prosecution will follow”, said Toogun.
By GOKE BUTIKA