Anti Corruption Bill: Ondo Govt, PDP Trade Words
By Friday Omosola, Ondo
Ondo state government under the leadership of Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and the main opposition party in the state, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are bartering words over the anti-corruption bill.
In a statement by the State Publicity Secretary of PDP in Ondo state, Kennedy Peretei titled “Ondo state anti-corruption bill: an attempt by Akeredolu to shield his family from investigation said the bill was carefully crafted to give sweeping exclusive powers to the Agency in matters of corruption in the State.
The statement, which was obtained by The Trumpet described the speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt. Honourable David Oloyelogun as incompetent and rudderless for perfecting plans to hurriedly pass the Anti-corruption bill forwarded to the State Assembly on 23rd December, 2021, adding that delaying any last minute intervention, the bill will be passed into law this week.
“The bill tagged ‘A Bill for a law to establish the Ondo State Public Complaints, Financial Crime and Anti-corruption Commission and others connected thereto 2021’ was carefully crafted to give sweeping exclusive powers to the Agency in matters of corruption in the State.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ondo State Chapter is in full support of institutional framework to stamp out corruption in the State, if only the intentions are genuine and transparently honest,” Peretei said.
The party noted that the Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration has proved in many ways that it is irredeemably soaked in the sea of corruption most especially his family.
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“Sections 14(3) and 14(4) of the proposed law states inter alia ‘The Commission shall upon the commencement of this law, take over the investigation of all Anti-corruption and Financial crimes cases involving the finances and assets of Ondo State government being ;investigated by any other agency’. Section 14(4) states; ‘the agency shall cause an investigation to be conducted into the properties of any public servant (s) within the jurisdiction of the state; if it appears to the Commission that the person’s life style and extent of the properties are not justified by the person’s legitimate source of income’.
“The powers given to the Attorney General of the state to regulate the operations of the Commission, if the bill is passed all point to a subtle legal cover to do more unthinkable damage to the treasury of the state.
“Given the antecedents of David Oloyelogun and the Ondo State 9th Assembly, there is nothing to expect other than a speedy passage of this bill. But we owe it a duty to inform the Ondo State people of this new move to provide cover for criminality,” PDP said.
Ondo PDP Needs Help To Be Off The Radar Of Ignorance – Ondo Government
Reacting to the accusation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that an anti-corruption bill is set to be passed by the State Assembly to allegedly protect the Governor and his family from wrongdoings, Ondo state government has described the party’s latest attack on the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration as a display of ignorance.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation to the Governor, Donald Ojogo said the recent footman opposition trick of the PDP in the state requires proper enlightenment.
“Specifically, the PDP’s claim that an anti-corruption bill is set to be passed by the State Assembly to allegedly protect the Governor and his family from wrongdoings is not only preposterous but laughable. It exposes the level of seriousness of a supposed opposition bereft of ideas, unwilling to obtain facts and self-cabined against information,” he said.
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Ojogo noted that the Bill for a law to establish the Ondo State Public Complaints, Financial Crime and Anti-corruption Commission and others connected thereto 2021 was deliberated upon at the level of the State Executive Council, but was stepped down for wider consultations.
He added that the memo has not received any Exco approval, and has therefore not been sent to the State House of Assembly, saying it is one Bill that shall be followed to a logical conclusion.
He further stated that the Anti-Corruption Bill, will serve the purpose of the state, rather than the warped intuition of the grossly insufficient opposition when put in place.
According to him, “Those who started the formulation of the Law had in mind to decentralize the anti-corruption fight to the federating units of the Nigerian Federation. It suffices therefore, that the rush to disseminate falsehood appears more important to the opposition PDP than the need for a Truly Federal Nigeria.
“For the records, the Law has been in existence in Kano State since 2008. Lagos State followed suit by passing the Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill into Law. Aside Lagos in the Southwest, the Law is in operation in Ogun and Oyo States. Interestingly, Oyo is a PDP governed State. Undoubtedly, Ondo PDP needs help.
“More importantly, the Supreme Court has ruled that Section 46 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act should be construed within the narrow confines of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, the precursor to the establishment of the EFCC – to prevent illicit financial outflow from Nigeria.
“The matter centers on one of the issues of our true federalism. It interrogates the rationale behind a federal agency exercising oversight powers on States under the guise of financial crimes, when each state has its Penal and Criminal Codes dealing with such offences,” Ojogo added.
However, he said failed findings are not just in the blood of the PDP in the state, but also known for recklessly amplified falsehood and spurious propaganda served to members of the public.
“We agree that it is their stock in trade and it is important that this clarification be made in the overall interest of members of the public,” he stated
He reiterated that the Akeredolu led administration will continue to do what is reasonable for the people and the state not tolerating the needless and falsified allegations that are being nourished to members of the public by the drowning PDP.