The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has absolved the Osun State government of the allegation that it diverted and misused the bailout fund released to it by the Federal Government in 2015.
The claim was contained in a letter addressed to the Secretary of the State Government, referenced ICPC/INV/GBP/SG.2/520 and dated August 24, 2017,
The ICPC discovered that the bailout fund was actually expended on payment of salaries and pension of both the state, local government workers and the cadets of the Osun State Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES).
Renaissance reports that an Osun-based NGO, the Coalition of Civil Societies for the Emancipation of the People of Osun State had petitioned the ICPC, accusing Governor Rauf Aregbesola of diverting the bailout fund released to the state in 2015.
But the ICPC maintained that none of the claims of the petition was substantiated, thereby making it to lack in merit.
The letter entitled: “Re: Request for probe on diversion and possible misuse of Salary Bailout Fund of Osun State. Save the Soul of Workers and Pensioners in Osun State”, was signed by the Head of Department of Investigation, Adebayo A. Kayode.
“The above case bordering on diversion and misuse of bailout fund and allowance to effect the full payment of all outstanding salaries, allowances, pensions and gratuities owed to Osun State civil servants and retires contrary to the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) Act 2000 was reported to the commission and same had been investigated conclusively with no infraction substantiated.
“A sum of N34, 988, 999, 000.00 was release to the Osun State on 31th August 2015 which was expended on the payment of salaries, civil pensions, OYES cadets stipend and allowances and local government salaries and pension.
“In view of paragraph 2 above, it is clear that the bailout fund was not diverted but utilised for its original purpose. therefore, the commission has set aside the case for lack of merit.”
Reacting to the letter, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa said apart from being vindicated on the allegation, the ICPC has also confirmed the financial prudence, accountability and sincerity of Governor Rauf Aregbesola.
Baderinwa urged those he described as busy body and political sponsored pressure groups to desist from writing against the Governor, unnecessary petitions based on lies and fabricated stories to suit their paymasters.
He said it is high time the security and anti-graft agencies prosecuted groups or individuals who are blowing fake whistles and submitting frivolous petitions for political purposes.
The Commissioner stressed that the dismissed petition is a typical example of a politically motivated petition that must not be allowed to go unprobed.
By Adeyinka Aremu, Osogbo