May 27, 2024

Ogun Assembly Summons Ex-Commissioner Over Alleged Financial Infractions

 

The Ogun State House of Assembly Committee on Public Accounts and Anti-Corruption has taken a decisive step in addressing alleged financial irregularities within the Ministry of Information and Strategy. The committee summoned key officials, including the immediate past Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Waheed Odusile, a former Permanent Secretary, Mr. Abiodun Awere, and the Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Andrew Odukoya.

The alleged financial infractions revolve around the sum of N92.9 million released to the ministry from the governor’s contingency fund. This fund was intended to supplement the ministry’s allocated budget for various expenditures. The committee is determined to investigate the circumstances surrounding the utilization of these funds.

The directive for the summoned officials to appear before the committee was issued by the committee’s chairman, Damilare Bello. The meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at 1 pm. During this session, the committee expects to gather additional information and insights into the financial affairs of the ministry.

The committee scrutinized the ministry’s auditor reports for the years 2021 and 2022, along with financial records presented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Waheed Adesina, at the Assembly Complex in Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

As part of their investigation, the committee directed the ministry’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Mr. Andrew Odukoya, to provide further details regarding the transfer of N2.51 million to individual accounts, as highlighted in the 2021 Auditor General Report. The committee observed a breach of due process, emphasizing that funds should be directly transferred to vendor bank accounts, not personal accounts, to uphold accountability and transparency.

Furthermore, the committee requested the submission of the ministry’s up-to-date fixed asset register and called for details on cash inflows and outflows. In response to these directives, Permanent Secretary Waheed Adesina assured the committee that measures had been taken to address the issues raised in the audit report. He expressed the ministry’s commitment to complying with all directives, emphasizing a dedication to accountability and transparency.

The summoned officials are expected to provide detailed explanations and documentation during the committee meeting, shedding light on the utilization of funds and addressing concerns raised by the audit exercise.

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