The Ondo state government on Sunday insisted that the uncovered N4.3bn hidden in a Zenith bank account for over 10 years was appropriated for in the 2019 budget,following the outcry generated by the discovery of the hidden fund in the bank.
The Ondo State Commissioner for Finance, Wale Akinterinwa stated this in a statement in Akure.
This is just as the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has waded into matter to possible avoid a face off between the Executive and principal officers of the Legislature over the matter.
Akinterinwa said there was nothing to hide about the fund discovered in 2018 and lies peddled by mischief makers that there was no appropriation for the money in question.
He said “ The Executive is not hiding anything like we have always said. The narrative set out by mischief makers is that there was no appropriation for the money in question. This is untrue.
The 2019 appropriation passed by the Assembly included among others, this N4.3b under overall summary of the budget, item on Cash reserve/roll over fund is very apt and unambiguous for the public to confirm the truth. The story of non appropriation is utterly mischievous. “
Akinterinwa insisted that the N4.3bn was in the 2019 appropriation bill passed by the Assembly and signed into law by Governor Akeredolu.
It was also gathered that the leadership of the APC in Ondo State has waded into the matter after the lawmakers had realised that they made errors over false alarm on the matter .
It was also gathered that some lawmakers backed by external forces raised what they temred a false alarm over the fund.
A source privy to the meetings said records available to the APC leadership showed that the 2019 appropriation confirmed the cash in Zenith Bank.
The source said “ the Ondo APC leadership discovered that some lawmkers were sponsored by some government officials to raise issues about the money spent in the 2019 budget. ”
A lawmaker who spoke on anonymity said the N4.3bn was not a new issue and has been moved to the state coffers in the budget in 2019.
The lawmaker explained that the money was contained in the Auditor General report of 2018 and that some individuals in government gave the House Committee information about the discovered money but were not aware the monat has been appropriated in the 2019 budget.
According to the lawmaker, “We are still investigating to unearth some fand we want to know some facts about the money. Mimiko ought to have made a statement since information available showed it was deposited during Agagu’s administration.
It was not the House that discovered the fund but was contained in the Auditor General report of 2018. Committees were put in place not more than six months ago.
“Emerging facts showed it was captured in the 2019 budget or 2018 Supplementary budget.
“The money was properly appropriated for in 2019. It was passed by the past Assembly. External forces are trying to hype the issues for political gains.”