By Olamide Lawal
It is a popular saying that “He who seek equity must come with clean hands”, but the immediate past commissioner of Finance who doubled as a conduit pipe to the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has negated this aphorism by acting otherwise.
This was exhibited in his latest press release of what could be termed as the dumbest release from the class of “no brainers” – the caliber of persons who had managed the finances of the state for four years. No wonder Amosun usually refer to most of them (his aides) as “No Brain”.
In the said release, Mr. Osinowo in his bad motive, contrived as public spiritedness.
The people aren’t as gullible and understand whose intention on staff welfare agenda is better. Osinowo had alleged that Governor Dapo Abiodun took a loan of N7 billion to pay May salary of civil servants. Instead of the former commissioner to applaud the rare feat of goodwill accorded Governor Dapo Abiodun by the Banks’ Managing Directors which paved way for the payment of workers salaries before the end of the month of May just two days after he was sworn in.
The logic behind this is that the salaries were paid by these banks who are the custodian of the state finances in an anticipation of the federal allocation from Abuja and revenue accruing from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA). Only a man of integrity and high reputation like Abiodun can achieve such feat.
As claimed by Osinowo that they left over N8 billion naira in both FAAC and MDAs accounts and another “anticipatory N10 billion” from tax return totalling N18.8 billion. It is amusing to hear from a number one accounting officer of the past administration to sum up ” anticipatory amount” as a money left in the state coffer.
From his release, the immediate past commissioner of finance has tactically or ignorantly revealed the actual amount left in the coffer of the State by Amosun led administration which is the paltry 2.483 billion naira as claimed because the May allocation from the Federal Government did not drop into the state government account until almost end of June whereas May salaries of the civil servants were paid on 31st May 2019, a feat that Amosun himself could not achieve during his tenure.
One need to even ask Mr. Osinowo why they failed to pay civil servants their may Salary before they handed over on 28th May 2019 if truly such money was available in the state government account.
As it is well known that “One will need ten lies to substantiate a single lie,” this is the pathetic situation Osinowo has put himself in all his bid to cover the financial mess they put the state.
This is the same Osinowo that failed to appear before the 8th House of Assembly to explain how the Paris Fund released by the Federal Government to offset workers outstanding payment was mismanaged. Acting under the directive of his principal, he diverted the fund and put the financial status of the state in coma. Several backlog of salaries, deductions of over 15 months, gratuities and pensions of the retirees were owed as a result of the diversion of the Paris Fund which was meant to clear all those afore mentioned debts.
This same Osinowo was also accused by the local government chairmen when they appeared before the House committee on Monday 5th August, 2019. The Chairmen who spoke through their Senatorial representatives alleged that it was Osinowo who starved them of their legitimate allocation and thereby crippled them and tied their hands from performing. Under Osinowo, the regular monthly Joint Allocation Account Committee, JAAC was held only seven times throughout his tenure and anytime such meeting occurred, he always tell them the Local Government Account is in deficit.
Having committed all these financial blunders, Osinowo ought to have put his head in shame and should be honorable in his approach to answering questions bothering on financial irregularities under his watch.
Witch-hunting is not in the approach of Abiodun in running the state affairs, else someone like Osinowo should by now be answering questions from financial crimes commission but I believe the commission will at all time stand up to its duties
and do the needful.
- Olamide Lawal is a political activist and writes from Abeokuta