The Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has described ex-governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja’s denial of allegation of refund of N500million to the state by him as panicky and lamentable.
In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olalekan Alli, the governor insisted that Ladoja indeed returned the said amount, as well as vehicles he procured from the sleaze, through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Ladoja, the Accord Party’s candidate in Oyo State, in the February 28, 2015 governorship election, had through an advertorial in one of the national newspapers on Tuesday denied allegations that he refunded N500m allegedly stolen from the state’s treasury.
Earlier, Governor Ajimobi had in an interview published in a national newspaper accused Ladoja and some of his former aides and close relatives of fleecing the state during his tenure as governor, following which the EFCC was said to have quizzed him.
“Ladoja’s shameless denial of his refund of Oyo State’s stolen loot is not only regrettable, but lamentable. His brazen denial in the face of overwhelming evidence reflects what led to the lack of trust from the led to the leadership of this country.
“The general public will recall that In 2008, Ladoja was embroiled in allegation of theft of proceeds from shares belonging to the state government, which he converted to personal use. He was subsequently arrested and detained by the EFCC.
“Governor Abiola Ajimobi revealed that indeed, Senator Ladoja returned the sum of N500 million to the EFCC which thereafter drew a cheque later collected by the state government.
Government thus immediately opened an account to cater for this repatriated Ladoja loot taggedOyo State Government repatriated fund Account No. 5030048128 with Fidelity Bank, Jimoh Odutola Road, Ibadan.
“In its quest to use the refunded money to develop the state, the sum of N449,070,155.89 was thus paid to the contractor handling the construction of model schools in all the zones of the state,” said the governor.
Recalling the saga, the governor said that Ladoja’s travail with the law started in 2008 when the former governor and one of his principal aides, Chief Adewale Atanda, became the guests of the EFCC on allegation of soiling their hands with the patrimony of Oyo State.
The statement reads: “In a statement he wrote in the EFCC gallows on August 8, 2008, Ladoja explained how the shares money was spent.
“However, in a paper personally written by Ladoja and provided by Chief Olawale Atanda, who was his ‘official cashier,’ the former governor spelt out how he spent the proceeds of the Oyo State money. He shared the money among his wife, himself, children and cronies.
“While investigation was ongoing, the EFCC recovered some money from Ladoja in same 2008. Inded, the money was paid to the commission through bank drafts (issued by Ladoja).”
As the legitimate owner, the governor said that the state began the process of recovering the loot from the EFCC in 2013 through exchange of correspondence between the state’s attorney-general and commissioner for justice, solicitor-general and the anti-graft agency.
To confirm the governor’s earlier story of using the refunded money to benefit the people of the state, the governor maintained that N449m was indeed paid to the contractor handling the construction of model schools across the state in the quest to use the refunded money judiciously.
He, therefore, tasked journalists to dig deeper into the matter by cross-checking the facts and evidences presented by the state government with the EFCC and the denial by Ladoja to determine who actually was a serial liar.
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