19 June 2012

Nigeria: Aregbesola Probes Oyinlola's N18 Billion Loan

Osogbo — Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, yesterday, inaugurated a six-man commission of inquiry on the procurement of N18.38 billion loan by the sacked Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola-led government and major financial transactions and contracts from May 2003 to November 2010.

The governor, while inaugurating the commission in his office in Osogbo, said that transparency and accountability in government system will impact positively in the running of government business.

Members of the commission included, Professor Femi Odekunle (Chairman); Mr. Kola Adeyemo, Mr. Obi Daramola, Mr. Akin Akintayo, Mr. Soji Olowolafe, and Mr.Kelani Adesina.

Aregbesola said the exercise will bring sanity and accountability in the way contracts are awarded and implemented in the interest of the state.

The governor stressed that, "in view of the excruciating N18.38 billion loan by the previous government and major financial transactions and contracts from May 2003 to November 2010, and the records we met on ground, there is the need to probe government activities hence the inauguration of this commission of inquiry to look into the matter without fear or favour."

He noted that aside from the commission investigating the circumstances of the loan, it will also have to find out the propriety of the officials involved in the procurement of the loan in the interest of the state, adding that the investigation of such contracts from the period in question and the compliance with due process in the way contracts were awarded.

Aregbesola also held that the Prof. Odekunle led commission will have to recommend appropriate sanction on officials find culpable, stating that the commission is expected to submit its report to the state government within a time frame of 90days.

Responding, the chairman of the commission, Prof. Odekunle noted that he gladly took the assignment because he observed that the government is concerned about judiciousness, accountability and transparency in the use of public funds by constituting the commission and its specific terms of reference.

"Thus notwithstanding the politics of the State of Osun and the possible risks to limb and life inherent in this kind of fact-finding commission, I promise that the commission will discharge its mandate with respect to the principle of due process and fair-hearing to all concerned, without fear or favour to any person." Prof. Odekunle stressed.

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