By Richard Akintade, Osogbo.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Osun state chapter, on Wednesday said it was ready to assist the Senate in its probe into how bailout out funds collected by Osun state government was utilized.
The PDP in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Prince Diran Odeyemi, copies of which were obtained by newsmen in Osogbo, said Osun state got highest amount of money as bailout but squandered it on phony contracts.
The party declared that Governor Aregbesola actually diverted the bail out funds meant to pay workers salaries to pay some Lagos based contractors which also included a highly placed official in President Buhari’s administration.
The statement reads: “relevant information about the bailout funds shows that Osun got N38.9 billion which was only second to Kogi’s request. But Kogi, under the reign of PDP governor, Idris Wada, was never given the money.
“Before the figure was arrived at, a Lagos based consultant hired for the job by Aregbesola used a benchmark of N3billion per month as the state’s wage bill. This figure, according to our findings was overblown and beyond comprehension but the government claimed it was needed to pay workers’ salaries for over 10 months.
“However, workers were only paid full salaries for just two months after which Gov Aregbesola designed the “half salary” system till date”
“Shortly after the money was released, contractors were settled and they immediately returned to sites which again has been abandoned and when we raised alarm, Gov Aregbesola called us alarmists”
“We are grateful to the Senate for deeming it fit to look into Osun’s book. We are ready for the probe and the first thing the committee should look into is how Osun state was able to get the bail out without meeting the necessary conditions such as State Executive Council approval which Aregbesola does not have”
“We also implore the Senate committee to inspect the payment vouchers used by the government in paying the workers from the date of the release of the bailout funds till the point Aregbesola declared the funds had been exhausted,” the statement said.
The party also advise the panel to be diligent in handling the investigation, adding that relevant information from the banks paying Osun state workers should be collected to ensure mystery behind the diverted funds is covered