EFCC PROBES Oyo assembly officials over alleged N1.3b fraud

The Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan has probed six Oyo State House of Assembly officials over a case of conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of public funds, and abuse of office to the tune of over N1.3 billion.

The officials were interrogated on Monday and Tuesday on how the assembly purchased refurbished Toyota Camry cars (2019 model), for the state assembly members at N1.03 bn instead of new vehicles.

Those grilled include the Director of Administration, Kolawole Kayode; Director of Finance, Ogundipe Olanike; Paymaster, Adeoye Adebowale; Officer-in-Charge of other charges, Gbadebo Tosin; the former clerk, Felicia Oyediran and one Adenike Muraina-Akinola.

A source who was privy to the case said, “The suspects were questioned and allowed to go home on Monday July 5 with the exception of Adeoye Olusegun Adebowale who was detained. All the suspects returned to the EFCC Zonal Office again on Tuesday for further interrogation.”

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren confirmed the development.

The invitation of the officials followed a petition alleging fraud in the handling of the Oyo Assembly finances written by a former prosecutor with the Special Presidential Panel on Recovery of Public Property, Tosin Ojaomo.

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UGAMATV had in an exclusive report in January explained how the procurement of 33 Toyota Camry cars for the House members and the Clerk at N759m as well as two Toyota Hilux pick-up vans for the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, at N40m was handled by the House leadership.

According to the petition dated December 7, 2020, the contract also included purchase of two Toyota Prado Land Cruiser SUVs valued at N106m for the Deputy Speaker, Abiodun Fadeyi and as Ogundoyin’s back-up vehicles.

Ojaomo, in his petition, alleged that the contract was for the supply of new 2019 vehicle models but noted that refurbished models with cleaned-up mileage were supplied instead.

The lawyer claimed that the contract was fraudulently arranged to favour the contractor instead of Elizade Motors and Mandilas Motors which also tendered quotations.

He added that the alleged scam was discovered when some of the 33 cars supplied by the contractor started having mechanical and electrical problems, few days after delivery to the lawmakers.

Ojaomo, therefore, asked the EFCC to recover the full contract sum from the firm.

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