Fraud At Osun Local Government Councils

•Boripe LG Spends Fortune On First Lady’s Office, Refuse, Grader
•Iwo Council Boss, Councillors At War Over Fund Sharing
•Oyinlola’s Relations Hijack Odo-Otin Council

Fraudulent practices and corruption of no mean magnitude have relegated some local government council areas to the background in Osun State, a situation that has created a room for the mad competition among the council bosses that are ready to throw their all in looting the treasuries of the grassroots government.

While some council bosses are busy fixing their plugs, smoothening their rough edges, by settling their political godfathers and some political gladiators that could give them (chairmen) problems in their respective council areas; some chairmen are sharing the loots with some powerful top-guns of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state; with the aim of securing another term with ease.

It would be recalled that OSUN DEFENDER in its recent past edition, published a N16 million street light project scam, with a physical evidence of no execution of the project on ground.

Instead of rushing to site (the 11 wards in the council area), the embattled council boss, Mr Abimbola Oyedele ran to a lawyer, whose office is situated in Osogbo the state capital with a view to cowing the on-going investigation into his fraudulent practices.

Unknown to him that OSUN DEFENDER has built up a fool-proof evidence of his alarming expenditure between January and March, coupled with another details between April and June 2008, first and second quarters of the year respectively. Ditto for other vouchers and records of underhand dealings that would be made available in court of law, should Oyedele be man enough to bell the cat.

To further prove that the street light project scam was real, OSUN DEFENDER is in possession of the council’s Summary of Revenue and Expenditure between the April and June, where a total expenditure of N201,009,844.36 was recorded.

In columns two and three of Excess Crude Oil Project 2008 (April to June), titled: Rehabilitation of street light (extension of three phase electricity to the eleven wards in Boripe Local Government) with a cost of N16,247,808.90, N11,373,466.23 was already paid in June.

While the column three with a title: Balance payment for rehabilitation of street light (extension of three phase electricity to the eleven wards in Boripe Local Government) read N4,874,342.62.

Meanwhile, the council boss, who appeared rattled after the story was published, was suspected to have misinformed his counsel, who wrote OSUN DEFENDER in a letter dated 31 October 2008 paragraph four that; “our client, (Bimbo Oyedele) takes strong exception to the above grave allegations of fraud and financial crime, against him, as there was no project like ‘Street Light Project as contained in your said publication embarked upon by our client since the inception of his administration,” read the letter.

Adding insult upon injury, Oyedele further relished his lies with old kicks, noting that the true story of the matter was that the council sought and got the approval of the State Local Government Ministry to extend the electricity in various towns and villages in the councils.

As a matter of fact, a letter with reference number: LGF4/4/vol.1.1/242 dated 29th April, 2008 was quoted on the facilitation of the project; a sharp contrast to the Revenue and Expenditure table of the council for the second quarter of the year.

Besides, there were certain bizarre expenditure in the revenue and expenditure of the council that suggests either extravagance in spending of public funds or corruption with impunity.

Despite the availability of the waste collection van in the state and councils, Oyedele still expended N450,000 on the evacuation of refuse in iragbiji, the council headquarters.

While the servicing of a Grader cost N458,500, another N753,800 was said to have been paid for the purchase of transmission pump of the Grader; whereas N120,000 was expended on the grading of roads in Aagba, a community within the council area.

An interesting dimension was the N248,000 squandered on the office of the first lady of Boripe Local Government, despite the fact that she was not elected.

Also, Iwo local government council area, located in the Osun West is another case-study of open corruption, as the council chairman and councilors were openly trading accusations and counter-accusations on some issues that could not be divorced from fraudulent practices.

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the council boss, Mr Sule Bello, popularly known as ‘CB’ had a shouting-match with the aggrieved lawmakers, when he found out that they, councillors held a meeting in his office; instead of the legislative chamber.

In fact, the embattled chairman in ganger, loosely said at a meeting inside Oluwo’s palace that the aggrieved councillors wanted him to share council funds and that his refusal for accountability reason infuriated the councillors.

Meanwhile, a source close to the council hinted OSUN DEFENDER that the embattled chairman was economical with the truth, as one hospital road project was awarded to the councillors, aside from N3 million overdraft on the seminar programme.

It was learnt that instead of N700,000 ear-marked for the seminar, N3,700,000 was allegedly expended and that it was the leader of the house and the secretary to the local government that facilitated the funding of resource persons that were used.

Meanwhile, a council boss in the Osun Central completely absconded his duty to his council under the guise of being overwhelmed by the national assignment of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON).

OSUN DEFENDER’S investigation showed that the affected chairman, up to the time of filing this story could not lay claim to any project that could enhance the development of his council area despite the huge allocations that have accrued to his council.

And, Odo-Otin local government council area seems to have been hijacked by some political gladiators said to be the relations of the state governor, a situation that has put the council authority in a fix.

It was learnt that some council officials had been picked up for questioning on some issues relating to misapplication of funds by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence (ICPC) recently.

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