…Says Fayemi left N49 Billion liabilities, not N89 Billion as alleged by governor
A witness, Kehinde Odunayo Victor, has revealed that the total amount of debt left behind by the administration of former Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi was N49 billion.
Kehinde disclosed this on Monday when he appeared before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing the handling of the state’s finances between October 2010 and October 2014 when Fayemi was in power.
The witness’ revelation contradicted the claims of Governor Ayo Fayose that the Fayemi left a debt figure of N89 billion behind for his administration.
Kehinde, told the Justice Silas Oyewole-led panel that out of the N49 billion debt, N25 billion was taken as bond from the Capital Market while N24 billion was taken as loans from ten commercial banks.
The witness who works in the Funds Management Department in the Office of Accountant General was led in evidence by counsel to the Commission, Sunday Bamise.
Kehinde who presented a document marked and admitted as Exhibit A13 told the seven-member panel that Fayemi had repaid N42, 691, 410, 210. 37 (N42.6 billion) out of the debt before he left office on October 15, 2014.
Fayemi had gone to court to challenge the composition of the panel members of which he described as “cronies of Fayose and sympathisers of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who cannot be trusted to do justice.”
No lawyer represented Fayemi at the proceeding but two lawyers, Ibrahim Olanrewaju and Adeoye Aribasoye told the panel that they were in court as “observers.”
According to Kehinde “as at the time Fayemi left office in 2014, that debt incurred from outstanding workers’ emoluments, comprising pensions, subventions to schools, among others was N13 , 819, 928,727, 92”. According to Kehinde, ‘Total Deductions from FAAC allocations in the time under review under the last administration was N18, 684, 785, 314, 75 was allegedly deducted in 48 months.
He told the panel that N163, 267,220, 48; 07 billion statutory allocations were received by the administration in four years.
The Panel also heard that the former governor allegedly made N18 billion unremitted deductions from the allocations received within the period in review.
Another witness, Arogndade Victor Adeyinka, who works at the state Ministry of Finance, tendered a document that indicated how the N25 billionbond was expended.
According to him, the breakdown of the N20b first tranch of the bond indicated that a sum of N468 million was to be spent on Ero Dam, Ureje Dam, N500m, building of the school of Agriculture, N750m, Road Construction, N2.6 building of Lagos Liaison office, N500m, building of modern market in Ado Ekiti, N2b, building of new government house, N633m, new governor’s office, N400m, Ikogosi Warm Spring, N1.5b, Civic Centre, N1 billion, totaling N19.3 billion.”
“The N5b second tranche of the bond was broken down thus: construction of Ilawe-Igbara Odo-Ibuji road, N894m, Ikole-Ijesa Isu road, N1.34b, Ewu Bridge, N20m, State Pavilion, N1.553b and Ire Resuscitation of Ire Burnt Brick, N966m, totaling N4.84b”, the documented said.
However, there was a mild drama at the sitting when one of the “observer lawyers”, Olanrewaju called the attention of the commission to the fact that it was wrong to refer to its counsel as prosecutor.
“I am not here to represent anybody but to honour the court. You have been referring to your counsel (Bamise) as a prosecutor. Who is standing trial here? Who is being prosecuted?, he asked.
Justice Oyewole quickly responded that “it was a lapse of tongue, he is the counsel to the commission, so pardon our mistake,” he begged.
The panel sitting continues Tuesday.