The Osun State House of Assembly is yet to make a categorical statement days after its ad-hoc committee had concluded its assignment. However, the matter appears to have assumed a new dimension, as there are reports that Justice Oloyede, had been invited to the Abuja headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).
A source close to the judge told newsmen in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, on Sunday that the judge was contacted by an official of the EFCC, who asked her to come to the Abuja office of the commission to assist them in the investigation into the allegations. The source said the judge had expressed her readiness to assist the anti-graft agency if they come to Osogbo to investigate the petition but that she could not afford to travel to Abuja at the moment.
The judge had in her petition written on June 19 to the Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Mr. Najeem Salam accused Aregbesola of financial recklessness. She had also sent a copy of the petition to the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC), among others. The governor had told the House of Assembly during the inauguration of the lawmakers in June that his administration had received N204bn from federal allocations and Internally Generated Revenue since inception till the end of 2014. But the judge said the state got N538bn and alleged that the governor falsified the figure in order to hide the balance of the receipts.
Her petition read in part, “Mr. Governor is deemed to have received on behalf of the state and local governments, revenues well in excess of N538bn within the period under reference, therefore, the figures being currently touted by Mr. Governor are cooked, manipulated, fallacious and fraudulent.
They are undeniable evidence of corruption! “But in spite of all those huge earnings, and for no justifiable reasons, at least not justifiable before rationally thinking minds, coupled with the accumulation of foreign and local debts, Mr. Governor could still not provide the much touted infrastructures and to make matters worse, he couldn’t even discharge the simplest and least complicated of functions in governance, which is to maintain the civil service, pay pensions, run public schools and hospitals, and the maintenance of existing ‘Trunk B’ Roads.”
The state House of assembly had set up a panel to investigate the judge’s petition but she had disagreed with the panel. The judge, who did not show up in person before the panel, had sent her counsel, Mr. Lanre Ogunlesi (SAN) to represent her and she complained that the panel ought to make a copy of Aregbesola’s reply to her petition available to her for further action.
But the panel headed by Mr. Adegboye Akintunde, who is also the deputy speaker of the House, disagreed with the judge’s request, saying the panel was not obligated to make the response of the defendant available to the petitioner. At last Tuesday’s hearing of the committee, Mr. Ogunlesi, had demanded a copy of governor Aregbesola’s response to the allegations before her principal could make appearance.
But the committee Chairman, Hon. Adegboye, who is also the Deputy Speaker of the assembly turned down the request, asserting that the judge had the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of planning a ‘murderous demonstration’ to usher in Justice Oloyede, who was scheduled to appear before the House. The Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy of the APC in Osun State, Mr. Kunle Oyatomi, who said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday, warned members of the party who had no business in the House of Assembly against going there on Tuesday.
The statement read, “The All Progressives Congress in the state of Osun has directed that none of its supporters who has no business at the state House of Assembly should go there on Tuesday for any reason whatsoever, because the PDP is reportedly planning a murderous demonstration to usher in Justice Olamide Oloyede into the House.
“We have it on good information that the PDP is planning to use the opportunity to cause mayhem as they have always planned. The APC is calling on the security agencies to, again, be on the alert so that evil-minded people will not breach the peace. The APC called on all its supporters to ensure that none of their supporters goes around the premises of the state assembly.” Nigerians are watching to see how the case will end and in whose favour it will end.
-The last may not have been heard about the petition written by Justice Folahanmi Oloyede, of the Osun State judiciary demanding impeachment of Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy, Titilayo Laoye, writes Peterclaver Egbochue