Oyo Lawmakers jittery as EFCC freezes Assembly account
By Ojo Peter, Ibadan
Following investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan branch, over alleged financial impropriety regarding procurements of official cars for Oyo state House of Assembly lawmakers, the commission has finally frozen the account of the legislative arm of government in the State.
A credible source knowledgeable about the matter confided in Orient Daily that the EFCC has frozen the Assembly bank account as the anti-graft agency continues its investigations. It will be recalled that EFCC opened its investigation against the House regarding procurements of the official cars for the State lawmakers which was alleged by a petitioner to have fallen below the quality and expectations of public procurement laws of the land.
Some of the official cars according to the petition to the anti-graft agency were said to have developed mechanical faults less than six months into delivery to the legislators. However, in a reaction to the allegations, the House posited that it followed due process and had nothing to hide regarding the said vehicle procurement contract.
The Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin in one of his reactions to the allegation had said the House will continue to support EFCC and all government institutions with the view to deepening transparency, accountability, and democracy.
An unconfirmed source at the Assembly told Orient Daily that the EFCC is widening its investigative net about the House to also include constituency allocation funds, running costs and others.
The source further noted that it was for the purpose of widening its investigative scope that the anti-graft agency froze the Assembly account to prevent access to the account of the Legislative arm of government thereby, denying the lawmakers access to funds for their monthly running cost.
The source also said that the EFCC picked up some top officials of the House yesterday July 26 at the early hours of the day and that they remained at the anti-graft agency’s office for several hours while being grilled.Some of these developments appear to have angered some of the lawmakers who against their traditional way of postponing plenary sitting in the Speaker’s absence were said to have perfected plans to go ahead with today’s plenary should the Ogundoyin not be available.
Although, insinuation was rife on Monday about a planned move by the lawmakers to go ahead with yesterday’s plenary sitting in the event the Speaker was absent leaving many to speculate on what the outcome today’s legislative plan would be. Ogundoyin, who had jetted out to the United States of America on an undisclosed trip before the Eid-el Kabir holiday surprisingly returned to the House yesterday as some of the insiders at the Assembly confirmed that many lawmakers did not know about Ogundoyin’s return to the country from his US trip.However, the House resumed its plenary after returning from the Salah holiday on Tuesday as Ogundoyin presided over the House legislative affairs.