The All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State is not relenting in its opposition against the administration of Governor Ayodele Fayose, as it attempts to cause disaffection among the people of the state against the government with new allegation of financial Aimpropriety, reports Peterclaver Egbochue
Although, the Supreme Court has validated the electoral victory of Governor Ayodele Fayose, in the june 21, 2014 Governorship poll, his opposition is yet to abate. Only recently, a former Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank, Chief Bandele Falegan, and an aide to the former governor of the state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, had alleged that a whooping sum of N650 million is being de- ducted monthly from source to service a certain election contractor who allegedly facilitated the victory of Fayose.
According to reports, Chief falegan who is believed to be working on behalf of an unnamed group in the state had in an article published in one of the national dailies said, “How many sons and daughters of Ekiti know that the governorship election was contracted for the contractor to be taking N650 million from the state’s trea- sury via the State’s Federal Allocation drawn at source every month effective from October 2014 after the swearing-in of the governor?
“This is a standing order exclusive of recurrent benefits in contract awards.” Falegan also alleged that records existed for an agreement of resignation over failure to fulfill contract terms.
Observers argue that if this allegation sails through, Fayose’s administration would have the people of the state even among his supporters to contend with, as it is capable of causing serious disaffection in the state.
But in a swift reaction, governor Fayose through his Special Assistant on Public Commu- nications and New
Media, Lere Olayinka, dismissed the allega- tion as baseless and a calculated falsehood to smear the image of his people oriented government.
In a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, Olayinka said, “When I read the article written by Chief Samuel Bandele Falegan, ti- tled; “Kayode Fayemi: A Governor they all love to hate,” in which he went on to lie that N650 million was being paid to an election contractor via the Ekiti State’s Federal Allocation drawn at source every month effective from October 2014 after the swearing-in of Governor Ayodele Fay- ose, my mind went to the important lesson my grandfather had taught me early in life.
“The article and lies told therein by Chief Fale- gan, was what is usually referred to as someone carrying his “saara” (zakat) beyond “mosalasi” (Mosque), thus losing his respect as an elder.
“While I do not begrudge Chief Falegan for rising in defence of Dr Kayode Fayemi, under whom he served as the Chairman of the Ekiti State Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) Committee, and did nothing with the State share of the SURE-P fund, I find it extremely
un-elderly for a 82 year old man to have lied in such a brazen manner.
“Though, one is not surprised that Chief Falegan, in displaying his marimaje (chop I chop)
criticism of Governor Fayose could throw away his age and experience in Economics and Banking while trying to polish the image of Fayemi his benefactor, it however remains to be seen how he could have descended to the lowest level of falsehood.
“How on earth could a supposed banker feed the public with tales of N650 million being de- ducted from a State allocation directly from Abu- ja? With what document(s) or standing order is the deduction being made directly by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission? Is it a practice for State Government contractors to get
their payments directly from RMAFC before allocation is released to the affected State?
“Simply put, if there is any election contrac- tor that Governor Fayose is committed to, the contractor must be the people of Ekiti that over- whelmingly gave him their votes and Governor Fayose is resolutely committed to the welfare of these people, whose votes made him governor the second time.
“The people voted against Fayemi because of the failure of those appointed into positions of responsibility like Chief Falegan to utilise their positions for the benefit of the people. Or is there any footprint of the SURE-P committee that Chief Falegan headed on the sands of Ekiti State?
“Also, it was because elders like Chief Fale- gan chose to play ostrich while the economy of Ekiti State was being mismanaged by the All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Dr Kayode Fayemi, thereby plunging the State into the precarious financial situation that we are grappling with now.
“Chief Falegan was alive, and a prominent member of Fayemi’s government when the State was plunged into N86, 013,689,097 debt!
“The N15, 831,613,425.62 Bank Loans, N26, 749,796,784.75 Bond, N15, 522,552,900.76 outstanding warrants, N21, 286,126,749 out- standing payment to road contractors, N709, 883,656.75 outstanding remittances to federal government, N5, 137,888,224.37 outstand- ing emoluments to State Public Servants and N592, 995,374.89 outstanding remittances to the State Government, making a total sum of N86, 013,689,097 should be enough evidence of Chief Falegan’s competence in financial mis- management.
“Of major interest is the N25bn Bond obtained from the Capital Market by the Fayemi- led government and another N5bn loan taken from EcoBank in May, last year.
“Two weeks before the June 21, 2014 governorship election, N5bn was borrowed from EcoBank for what they called “Project Financing,” in the name of Fountain Holdings Limited, an Ekiti State government investments management firm. The loan was obtained through Foun- tain Holdings Limited so as to be able to avoid going through the Debt
Management Office (DMO) in Abuja, because the State was already highly indebted to a level that its monthly income could no longer sustain additional liabilities.
“Chief Falegan never deemed it necessary to ask Fayemi whether or not it was part of the responsibilities of Fountain Holdings Limited to execute capital projects like road construction on behalf of Ekiti State Government.
N25bn bond was taking from the capital market to finance white elephant projects like the new mountain top government house, state pavilion, civic centre among others. The first tranche of N20bn will be fully paid in 2018 while the second tranche of N5bn will be fully discharged in 2020.
“The N20bn bond is with period-accumulated interest of N13.4bn while the N5bn is with period accumulated interest of N3.6bn. As at the time Fayemi left office, after paying a total sum N15, 221,207,088 (i.e. N14, 299,085,088 repaid from the N20bn bond and N922, 122,000.09 from the N5bn bond), the State Government still owed N26.749bn!
“To an elder like Chief Falegan, with train- ing and experience in financial management, shouldn’t it have been worrisome that after pay- ing N15.5bn out of the N25bn bond taken by Fayemi’s government, Ekiti State Government still owed N26.7bn as at the time he (Fayemi)
“In a State like Ekiti with less than N2.5bn as monthly federal
allocation, a government in which Chief Falegan served spent a whooping sum of N604, 961,645.72 just to furnish the new mountain top governor’s lodge built for the comfort of one single family.
“Meanwhile, hospital project like the Oba
Adejugbe General Hospital, Ado Ekiti was left unattended to. Chief Falegan, a banker and economist who kept silent when borrowed fund was being used to execute non-income generating projects, has now elected to be a peddler of falsehood just in his bid to polish a dirty image that was roundly rejected by the people of Ekiti. What an un-elderly way to be an elder!
“Not surprised anyway, Chief Falegan’s records of performance at the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria tell a lot about his understanding of basic principle of financial management.”
Similarly, the Ekiti State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has challenged the for- mer Managing Director of the Federal Mortgage Bank, to name the election contractors drawing money from the state’s treasury.
The party in a statement on Tuesday by its Publicity Secretary, Jackson Adebayo, described the allegation as “very frivolous and unfortu- nate”.
It challenged the ex-bank chief to produce evidence to substantiate his claim that N650 million is being deducted monthly from source into the coffers of the election contractor.
The statement reads, “We first thought the octogenarian was quoted out of context but after waiting for some days for a denial without any, concluded that the former banker has thrown caution to the wind.
“This kind of statement could have been taken as a mistake but coming from a supposed finan- cial expert, it is unfortunate.”
It would be recalled that Mr. Fayose, has repeatedly begged the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state to embrace his gov- ernment to foster peace and radical development of the State.