Monday, 10 August 2015

Open Letter: Petition Against Governor Rauf Aregbesola

Governor Rauf Aregbesola   

The Chairman,
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),
Federal Capital Territory (FCT),

Dear Sir,
Petition Against Governor Rauf Aregbesola For Financial Recklessness, Corruption, Money Laundering And Fraudulent Application Of Osun State’s Resources

We concerned citizens of Osun State having observed the profligacy, hypocrisy, corruption and financial decadence and recklessness of the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of Osun State in the last five years hereby forward a petition detailing his atrocities for investigation by your Commission as mandated by the summit on the state of Osun state held on July 23rd, 2015.

At the outset we would like to place on record the struggles of the founding fathers of the state whose vision was that the State will be a viable, self- reliant and enviable State standing heads and shoulder above other states in Nigeria. This vision, previous administrations have tried to realize with varying degrees of success.

However it is sad to note that today our beloved state has deviated from this path of glory and is on a free descent to an abyss of indebtedness, poverty and failure. At this rate if nothing is done urgently to arrest this drift, we regret to admit that the State could collapse in a matter of months.

The current state of decay which has resulted in the non-payment of salaries in the last 9 months to Civil Servants is a consequence of the corruption, fraud, hypocrisy, financial recklessness and impunity that has become synonymous with the administration of Ogbeni Aregbesola. In addition the State is littered with abandoned projects even though loans were secured by this administration to execute them.

Today our dear state has become the embodiment of lack, poverty, purposelessness, wickedness and insensitivity of political leaders of the highest order in the Country. We make bold to say that Osun State is the most impoverished state in Nigeria. Families go to bed every night hungry without hope of what to eat at dawn. Several businesses have closed due to lack of patronage. Our State is on a lock down.

Be that as it may and in support of the assertions above please find hereunder the particulars of financial recklessness, fraud, corruption and money laundering being perpetrated by the administration of Rauf Aregbesola;

(1)Presently the debt profile of the State is over N400 Billion as a result of the penchant of Aregbesola’s administration to obtain loans from Banks to finance white elephant projects with no bearing on the lives of people. These loans are secured by irrevocable standing payment orders (ISPO) on the allocations of the State. Details of these loans are highlighted hereunder: It is important that investigations be conducted to determine if due process was followed in obtaining these loans and if the funds were applied for the intended purposes. The Banks who have been granting loans carelessly to the State Government are also culpable and should be investigated. (See Appendix 1).

(2)Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola also took out a Sukuk Bond (Islamic Bond) of N11.5 Billion from the capital market for construction of 23 High Schools at N450 million each, 2 Middle Schools at N150 million each and 2 Elementary Schools at N150 million each. Even though the entire bond amount has been accessed by the State Government, only two schools have been built as at date. It might be pertinent for your commission to find out from the State Government what has happened to the Bond Proceeds.  You may also wish to note that an ISPO has also been issued by the State Government to secure this Bond and monthly deductions have already commenced from the statutory allocations due to the State in the following manner:  N164,934,256.00 was deducted monthly from August 2013  to July 2014 while N305,678,787 is currently  being deducted monthly from July 2014 to July 2020 by which time the State Government would have paid a total of N25.5 Billion. (See Appendix 2). The Governor lied to the state that this loan obtained at 14.5% compound interest was interest free because of its Islamic ties.

(3) All sorts of Irrevocable Standing Payment Orders have been issued by Governor Aregbesola’s administration leaving the State with little or nothing as statutory allocation from the Federal Government. The indebtedness to commercial banks by Osun state under Aregbesola stands at N150 Billion. Most of these loans did not go through approvals by the rubber-stamp legislators in the state.

(4) Governor Aregbesola also purchased 2 Helicopters for “Surveillance”. We believe that this transaction was also used to defraud the state as we are yet to see the Helicopters on any surveillance activity in the State. Conversely the helicopters are being used by the Governor and his family on their sorties and rendezvous all over Nigeria as we have evidence that before the purchase of the helicopters the governor was using state resources to charter planes from Ibadan to Lagos.

(5)Governor Aregbesola in an address to the Osun State House of Assembly on June 3, 2015 on the State of the economy gave phantom figures as receipts of statutory allocation by the State from the Federal Government between November 2010 and December 2014 as N108.3 Billion (See Appendix 3) as against N183.4Billion received and published by the Federal Ministry of Finance as indicated in the tables below:

We urge your Commission to inquire about the whereabouts of the differential which he refused to disclose. 

When you add the undisclosed amounts in the following categories:
* Excess Crude Acccount-N61.7bn
* IGR                                     N43.6bn
 *SURE-P                               N14.4bn
  *SUBEB                                N13.9bn

The independent verifiable accruals to the state is N317bn leaving N209bn unaccounted for. (See appendix 1)

It is instructive to note that after the summit on the State of Osun on July 23,2015 where the whistle was blown, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola gave another figures through one of his aides, Mr Semiu Okanlawon now claiming that Osun got N177b from federation account  (not N108bn again!) and N27b IGR (against N43bn verifiable) totaling N204bn instead of N317bn. (See Appendix 4)
You will agree with us that even the finances of a mechanic workshop should not be handled this way not to talk of a whole state.

(6) Osun state today is littered with many abandoned and didn’t-take-off projects among which the following are prominent:
i).Osogbo to Ila Odo for which a sum of #17.5bn was borrowed from the Bank for Infrastructure
ii). O-Hub  the Dagbolu project where over #6.0bn had been expended with no visible action
iii). The moribund Ido Osun Airport several billions had been spent but the entire place is bush till date.

(7)Governor Rauf Aregbesola  3 years ago launched with fanfare computer project called ‘Opon Imo’ through which N8.4  billion was squandered with but there is not a tablet in operation in the state today.

In view of the foregoing it is clear that Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has mortgaged the future of the state. It is unfortunate that succeeding administrations would be preoccupied only with the repayment of these loans for which there is nothing on the ground as justification.

It is therefore imperative the EFCC to get to the root of the financial scam committed by Aregbesola’s Government. It might be necessary to unveil the companies who are beneficiaries of the white elephant projects embarked upon with these loans. Forensic audits of their accounts as well as that of the state government in a bid to determine the trails of the funds will also be necessary.

We are also aware that while salaries of staff remain unpaid, Governor Aregbesola has been drawing security votes in the region of N502 million every month. We request that these votes be audited to determine if same is truly being spent on security.

We also humbly request that our petition be investigated with a view to bringing justice to the deprived and defiled people of Osun. This is the only recompense they can get after enduring years of deceit, treachery, betrayal rape and robbery.

In conclusion we believe that our petition will be a test on the commitment of this administration to fight corruption regardless of who is involved. As you are aware President Buhari has promised the world that not even members of his party the All Progressives Congress (APC) would be spared if they are indicted of corruption.

Looking forward to your prompt action.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Hon. Niyi Owolade                                                 

‘Yinka Odumakin  
(Conveners, Osun Stakeholders)

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