Ogun Assembly To EFCC, ICPC : Recover 'Ogun N2.5bn Missing' Under Odusolu's Watch - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Friday, September 17, 2021

Ogun Assembly To EFCC, ICPC : Recover 'Ogun N2.5bn Missing' Under Odusolu's Watch


By Ayobami Ife,  Abeokuta

Ogun State House of Assembly on Friday called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC)  and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission(ICPC) to urgently investigate, Barr. Babajide Odusolu, who was the immediate past Managing Director(MD) of the State -  owned Property and Investment Corporation(OPIC).

Ogun Assembly wants the EFCC and ICPC to help the Gateway state recover into its coffers, the unaccounted balance of N2,579,771,717.71 believed to be missing under the watch of Barr. Babajide Odusolu as the OPIC  MD between  2015 and 2019.

Barr. Odusolu was appointed MD of the corporation by the then governor of the State, Ibikunle Amosun, who is now a serving Senator representing Ogun Central at the National Assembly.

In the last couple of months, Ogun Assembly led by Speaker Kunle Oluomo had been looking into the book and activities of OPIC for the period  Odusolu held sway. 

The call for the anti - graft agencies' intervention followed the assembly's 
 receipt  and passage of a resolution adopting the report of its Committee on Public Accounts and Anti - Corruption, which considered the 2015-2019 State Auditor-General’s report on the State Property and Investment Corporation, (OPIC).

The state lawmakers therefore called on the "financial crimes investigation agencies to investigate and recover into the State’s coffers, the unaccounted balance of N2,579,771,717.71 which happened during Barr. Babajide Odusolu's tenure as the the Managing Director of the Corporation."

The lawmakers also directed the former Managing Director to pay back the sum of N40m that was unaccounted for in Year 2019 into the State Government's purse within six months from this September 17, 2021..

The passage of the resolution was consequent upon the presentation of the report of the Committee on the consideration of the State Audit report on OPIC by the Chairman, Musefiu Lamidi, who equally moved the motion for its adoption, seconded by Oludaisi Elemide and unanimously supported by other lawmakers through a voice vote at the plenary presided over by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Olakunle Oluomo at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Giving the breakdown of the funds that could not be accounted for, according to the report, “the Committee also observed that the Audit report revealed that in 2019 after generating an income (including subventions and grants) of N3,817,778,776.65 the Corporation expended a total of N1,197,182,579.27 and the balance is N2,620,596,187.38. The expected bank balance at the end of year 2018 was N685,194,035.01 and this brought the expected balance to the tune of N3,305,790,222.39 which was available to the Corporation. 

Considering the Year 2019 bank balance sheets submitted to the Committee, the sum of N726,018,504.68 was contained in the Bank balance sheets and this represents an unaccounted balance of N2,579,771,717.71”.

The Assembly equally recommended the reversal of all transactions including the 8.2 Hectares of land at Isheri sold in favour of Rainerhill Internationals Services Limited, a subsidiary of Pesianas Group in the twilight of the last administration at the undervalued price of N164M, stating that it was not done in the best interest of the State; hence all relevant title documents issued in favour of the aforementioned company  in relation to the land was declared null and avoid, while the Corporation should retain the land ownership.

Also, the Committee declared that a retrospective legislative approval be secured for the expended unbudgeted sum of N881.5M, failure to which the Corporation’s erstwhile Managing Director, Odusolu was expected to refund same amount to government's coffers within a deadline of six months.

The Assembly added that the embargo placed on the whopping sum of N608, 226, 371.69 in  16 banks accounts be lifted to enable the Corporation have access to the funds for developmental projects and investments.  

It further directed that in line with the observation of the Committee, the proposed 5-star Hotel, Ikeja which had no physical existence, yet a whopping sum of N45, 025, 064:00 was expended to obtain title documents on the landed property and no satisfactory reason was given by the Corporation for such expenditure, holistic investigation should be carried out to reflect the company's true position.

In a related development, the Assembly has adopted the report of the Committee on Lands and Housing as presented by its Chairman, Damilola Soneye, with a recommendation that the Bureau of Lands and Survey should relocate the Irepodun plank and Building Materials Marketers Association of Orimerunmu in Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area to the 3.001hectres of land within 1.5k/m corridor acquisition along Siun/Owode Road identified by the Bureau.

The relocation, the Assembly noted became imperative as the delay in the relocation of the plant marketers association to another location had  delayed the commencement of business activities of the plank sellers and others, this was in line with the resolution passed by the 6th legislature in the State.

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