OSUN State Chapter of the Action Congress (AC) has said that it is still expecting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to unravel more of the mysteries behind the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola’s controversial constituency project through the state lawmakers, describing it (constituency project) as a constituency fraud.
Lauding the statement credited to the former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Honourable Eziuche Ubani that lawmakers are not involved in the execution of constituency project, the party stated that the duty of the legislators was to identify where such projects should be cited and ensure that the projects were executed according to the laid down rules and standard.
Quoting Ubani: “Nobody gives any member any money to execute any project, as it is not our duty to do so. We do not participate either in the process of the award or execution of such contracts”.
However, in a statement signed by the AC Director Of Research and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere and made available to OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo on Monday, the party stated that it is not against citing and execution of constituency projects in the state, saying that its stand was that it’s against the financial rules and Appropriation Act for any state lawmaker to usurp the duty of executive by dabbling into project construction and abandon their constitutionally approved responsibilities.
Osun AC stated further that Oyinlola’s administration had made matters worse by paying the controversial project’s fund directly to the personal accounts of individual lawmakers in the state, saying that the move was an attempt to corruptly enrich them, so as to make them neglect their duties of putting the executive in check and maintain their autonomy.
The statement further commended the governor for taking a bold step of writing a petition to the EFCC requesting the anti-graft commission to ask questions from the opposition lawmakers in the state on how they got money with which they paid back amount deducted by the bank from the funds to service their individual loans, adding that the step which acted as a clue to show that the planning and initiation of the whole project was meant to corruptly influence the legislators would help in reducing the EFCC job.
The statement read: “If the bank does not know that the amount earmarked for the project has been padded for self benefit, how then did they have the effrontery to deduct the money meant for the project to serve the people for the repayment of personal loans?
“The Oyinlola-led PDP administration in Osun State would have earned itself a lot of respect if it admits its ignorance and apologize to the people, instead of continually exhibiting its naivety and dubious intent by claiming to be right when it knows it is doing a wrong thing.
“Constituency projects execution by our honourable members in Osun State since 2003 has served no purpose other than self-aggrandizement, as only gargantuan personal edifice like hotels, petrol stations offices and shopping complexes are the only things we can point to across the state, while schools, hospitals, boreholes and more meant for the people have remained desolate, non-functional, dilapidated and an outright eyesore”, AC stated.
The party then threatened that it will not keep quiet and watch the PDP-led government in the state to plant a land mine that would not allow its governorship candidate, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola to have a peaceful reign when he eventually takes over the mantle of leadership in the state.
BY KAZEEM MOHAMMED