OPIC PROBE: Fresh Allegations Of Missing N40million, Others Against Former MD - EDU-BIZNEWS


Monday, November 9, 2020

OPIC PROBE: Fresh Allegations Of Missing N40million, Others Against Former MD

Fresh allegation of missing N40million has been leveled against the immediate past Managing Director of the Ogun State Property and Investment Corporation (OPIC) , Barr.Jide Odusolu whose four -year tenure is under probe at the State House of Assembly.

Odusolu who re-appeared on Monday   before the House Public Account and Anti-Corruption Committee in Abeokuta, was also accused of disposing a landed property at Isheri worth N848million at a give-away price of N164, ten days to the expiration of his tenure in office.

The Committee is considering Audited Reports of OPIC between 2015 and 2019 which had earlier raised 25 infractions against the former Managing Director.  

Chairman of the committee,Hon.Musefiu Lamidi expressed concern that Odusolu  disposed-off landed property of OPIC purchased for over N515m at Isheri and valued at N848m at a giveaway price of N164m for half of its  portion. 

According to him,this is even in spite of over four year- term of expected appreciation on the property which was sold off barely ten days before the exipiration of the last administration in May, 2019.

Musefiu Lamidi in company of his Vice,  Abdul Bashir Oladunjoye and other lawmakers including the Minority Leader, Ganiyu Oyedeji, Chief Whip, Atinuke Bello, Honourables Yusuf Amosun, Olakunle Sobukanla, Damilola Soneye, Solomon Osho, Oludaisi Elemide and Abayomi Fasuwa questioned the former MD on why over N40m could not be accounted in the construction expenses of the MITROS Residence, Ibara, which was carried out during the period under review. 

The committee while acknowledging the submission of audited financial statement for 2018-2019 and the management letter on the financial statement by the Corporation in response to the previous meeting held with Odusolu on October 13th 2020; decried the manner in which the former MD spent the total sum of N881m on the construction and procurement of equipment for the Mitro Residence at Ibara without the approval of the State House of Assembly.

 The Committee members also requested for clarifications on the role of the OPIC Board in the running of OPIC as well as the process of the project execution.

Lamidi further confronted the MD with the Corporation's  inability to keep fixed assets registers, likewise the non-availability of cash book and bank reconciliation statements on demand to external auditors, who equally noticed that from sample of daily cash schedule,  cash received were not fully lodged.

The Committee pointed out that all the infractions raised in the Audited Reports were in contravention of the Appropriation Laws for the period under review.

The lawmakers' also said the infractions, violated provisions of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and the State Financial Regulations, which equally mandated the keeping of up-to-date fixed assets register by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.    

The Committee directed Odusolu to re-appear on Wednesday, 25th November, 2020, which is convenient date for him

Odusolu had taken permission to only stay for maximum of two hours for the Monday 's proceeding on account of ill health to avail the Committee of more documents and clarifications on all records including projects and other transactions carried out under his watch.

The Committee is  also requesting for other documents  including land sales, properties, lease/rent amongst others with specifications of their respective location, sizes, type of building and cost facilities external to the building such as access roads and paving amongst others which was to be submitted on or before Wednesday, November 11th, 2020.

Responding, Odusolu noted that though, he didn't secure the approval of the State House of Assembly for the Mitro project, but had approval of the former Governor Ibikunle Amosun for the construction, noting that the N40m was part funds spend in the course of the construction of the Mitro Residence. 

He claimed that the housing projects at Isheri had been concluded under a shell in construction but was controverted by the lawmakers with pictorial evidence, just as he disclosed that the law setting up the Corporation allows the MD to report directly to the State Governor and not the Board.

Odusolu assured the lawmakers that all other documents requested would be provided at the next proceeding of the House Committee.

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