Directors of Personnel Management (DPMs) in the local government areas of Kwara have said there was no record of deduction from the local government fund since the beginning of Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration.
The DPMs told the Panel of Inquiry set up by Gov. AbdulRazaq over the alleged diversion of funds from the local government funds in the state.
The panel, headed by retired Justice Mathew Adewara, was mandated to look into the alleged diversion of N300 million monthly from local government funds in the state.
Gov. AbdulRazaq inaugurated the panel of inquiry 10 days ago to investigate allegations that his administration was diverting N300 million of local government funds every month.
At its sitting on Thursday in Ilorin, the panel received briefings from the DPMs and their accountants from Asa, Ilorin East, Ilorin South, and Ilorin West Local Government Areas.
Members of the panel looked into each local government’s payrolls, bank accounts, bank statements, statutory allocation papers, schedules of local government internally generated revenues and cash books.
The DPM Asa Local Government, Abdullah Haruna, told the panel that he was not aware of any diversion of funds meant for his local government, saying no such record exists to the best of his knowledge.
“I don’t know anything about N300 million. From my side, I don’t know anything about any deduction,” he told the panel.
Oyebami Gabriel of Ilorin East Local Government also denied knowledge of the N300 million allegedly being diverted from his local government funds.
“I don’t know anything about it at all. All the accrued allocations to my local government do come,” he told the panel.
Gabriel also disclosed that the state government under Gov. AbdulRazaq had never borrowed any money to pay salaries on behalf of the local government workers.
DPM Ilorin South Local Government, Mr Abdulkareem Magaji insisted that no money was being diverted from his local government funds.
“As far as I am concerned, there is no diversion of funds. To the best of my knowledge, no amount of money is diverted from Ilorin South local government funds,” he said.
The Accountant of Ilorin South local government, Mr Emmanuel Audu collaborated what the council’s DPM told the panel,
He said the state government took a loan of N4 billion in 2018 from a commercial bank to pay two months salaries and pensions of local government workers and State Universersal Education Board (SUBEB) teachers.
He added that the said loan had been fully paid back by the 16 local governments as at December 2019.
Audu added that another N1.6 billion loan took on behalf of the local governments by the past administration in the state would be fully paid by August 2022.
The DPM of Ilorin West local government, Mr Ayantola Mukaila, said that the local government was receiving its due allocation since May 2019.
He also said that staff and SUBEB teachers also get their salaries regularly since May 2019.
In his opening remarks, the panel chairman, Justice Adewara clarified that the commission was on fact finding mission.
He said that their mandate was to look into the allegation of diversion of funds into the 16 local government areas of the state between May, 2019 and July 2020.
He added that the panel of inquiry was not set up to prosecute anybody.
“We are not prosecuting you. We are to investigate the alleged diversion of N300 million from local government funds.
“We will do our jobs based on the terms of references given to us,” Adewara said.
NAN reports that the hearing would continue on Friday with local government councils in Kwara South