Magu may be jailed for illegal arrest of Ekiti officials – Assembly

The Ekiti State House of Assembly, on Thursday, said that the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, might soon be jailed for alleged illegal arrest of two officials of the state, Toyin Ojo, Finance Commissioner, and Yemisi Owolabi, Accountant General, on September 28 over alleged misappropriation of Paris Loan refund.

The duo were released unconditionally after two weeks of detention by the EFCC.

Chairman, House Committee on information of the Assembly and member representing Oye Constituency in Oye Local Government Area of the state, Samuel Omotosho, declared the House’s position on Magu during the presentation of the 2015 Report by the House Committee on Public Accounts.

The report detailed the state’s Auditor-General’s queries, findings and recommendations on alleged graft and other irregularities during both ex-Governors Segun Oni and Kayode Fayemi’s administrations.

Omotosho told a team of top government functionaries and heads of MDAs, led by the state’s Head of Service, Gbenga Faseluka, that the constitution of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, supersedes an Act of the National Assembly which created the EFCC, and holds that the only organ of government empowered to probe alleged misappropriation of funds by officials of the state government remains the state Assembly and not the EFCC.

“What the EFCC has done by invading and arresting the two officials on September 28 is tantamount to illegality, witch-hunt, unjust humiliation and oppression of the officials. This is why the matter has been taken up by the state government which is instituting a legal action against Mr. Ibrahim Magu. We want to state that Magu could be jailed for his illegal arrest and subjecting the officials to two weeks’ emotional and mental torture for no just cause”,

Meanwhile, deputy Chief Whip of the House, and member representing Ijero consituency, who doubles also as Chairman of its Public Accounts Committee, Akinleye Adedayo,while presenting the report indicting Ex-Governors Fayemi and Oni ‘s administration for adoption by the House, said: “Today we have presented a report of the auditors to the House. It is the first ever in the history of Nigeria and the South-West particularly.

Before now, all the auditors’ reports are usually swept under the carpet but we are presenting the report to the House to show that we have nothing to hide.

“A lot of issues were raised by the accountants general and we have looked into them and made appropriate recommendations on them. In the report we presented a lot of issues were raised on the alleged misappropriation of public funds by the administration of ex-governor Kayode Fayemi and Segun Oni. While some of the issues are based on alleged misuse of public funds, many were based on improper documentation.

” In the 2015 report as given by the auditor-General about the Fayemi’s administration, one of the issues raised which relates to misuse of funds is the one about the evasion of tax by one firm which was to the turn of N130 million.

“The firm withdrew over N1 billion about 16 days to the June, 2014 gubernatorial election and succeeded in evading a tax of over N130 million.

“Another misappropriation was the beautificationproject the Fayemi administration said it carried out in Ekiti, the report didn’t show evidence of proper documentation of the execution of the project. That gulped about N1.5 billion. Those whom the Fayemi government said they gave the money to, could not be traced.

“The alleged misuse of money during the Segun Oni administration is about the release of $4,000 by Ekiti people in the diaspora. We invited the then confidential secretary to Oni, Mrs. Omope who explained that the governor got the money from her then and explained her side of the story. We decided to quash the query on that money since the Segun Oni government is not known to law.”

The House eventually adopted the report and agreed to began debate on its recommendations and findings on Tuesday, October 24.


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