Wale Adedayo, the Chairman of Ijebu East Local Government Area of Ogun State, has dragged Governor Dapo Abiodun before the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, demanding the investigation of the governor over alleged mismanagement of local government funds.
He accused Abiodun of withholding the statutory Federal Allocation due to the state’s local governments in the last two years.
But,the government has denied tampering with the local government fund, saying that it has always increased the fund to allow the local governments meet up with their obligations.
In a latter written to the former Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, had revealed that local governments in the last two years have been operating zero allocation in the State.
He had called for the intervention of Chief Osoba to talk to the Governor.
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 emphasized the need for urgent intervention of the anti-graft agencies.
The council boss in the petition,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% 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 (ALGON) had a meeting with the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo, early this year. The Commissioner claimed that the 20 local governments were owing 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 fulfill 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 that 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 revenue sources of the local government? How do they want the grassroots to breathe?
“In Ijebu East Local Government Area, we 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.”
Reacting to the allegation, the government argued that it has often had to augment the funds allocated to local governments in the state from the Federation Account to enable them to meet their obligations.
It wondered how adding to the funds allocated to the local councils to enable them to meet their obligations amounted to hijacking their funds.
It said that funds meant for local governments in the state are being handled by the constitutionally recognised Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC).
In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the state governor, Mr Lekan Adeniran, the government said that JAAC members ensure that the third tier of government gets the required allocations for optimal performance.
“Between May 2023 when the Governor was sworn in for the second term and July 2023, the JAAC shared among 20 local governments N4.531b, N4.444b and N4.497b respectively on first line charges and just last week N5.2b was shared among the local governments for the month of August “the statement said.
The statement added that this same pattern has been followed since Prince Dapo Abiodun took over the leadership of the state in 2019.
“In addition to these, the state government also disburse funds to all local governments for developmental projects periodically,” the statement added.