Panel gives Kwara govt clean bill, says no evidence of diversion of LG funds

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The panel of inquiry set up by Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on the finance of the 16 local government areas has concluded that there is no evidence local government funds were diverted.

The allegation of monthly diversion of local government funds to the tune of N300 million was made on social media and attributed to former Commissioner for Special Duties, Aisha Ahman-Pategi, who has, also, since distanced herself from such claim, noting it never emanated from her.

The eight-member panel, headed by Retired Justice Adewara comprised people drawn from various walks of life such as Mrs Halimah Bello (DSS); Mrs Titilayo Adedeji (CSOs); Barrister Aisha Bello Mohammed (NBA); DSP Adekunle Iwalaiye (police); Mohammed Baba Ibrahim (ICAN); Alhaja Asmau Apalando (NLC); and Barrister S.K Grillo (Secretary).

“We want to state categorically that there is no evidence either oral or documentary to support the allegation of N300m monthly deduction from the local government funds by the state government. The allegation of such deductions is therefore baseless, unfounded and false,” the panel spoke through its chairman, Retired Justice Mathew Adewara late Wednesday when its report was submitted to the Governor.

Justice Adewara said a total of 35 witnesses testified before the panel while several documents were produced and tendered by them. He said the panel also visited some of the local governments to see what projects they have done as had earlier been submitted by the director of personnel management (DPMs) who appeared before them.

The report of the panel meanwhile has found that the state government “does not deduct money from the SUBEB account while salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff are paid as and when due from May 29 to date.”

Justice Adewara commended the Governor for his boldness to direct a probe of his own administration — a development he asserted was new to the country.

“We commended Your Excellency’s courage to set up the panel to inquire into the finance of the local government from May 29 to date, which is the same as setting up a panel to investigate your administration,” he said.

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