By Paul Michael, Abuja
Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has vowed that he will recover the funds stolen during the administration of his predecessor, the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi.
The governor said he has sent a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the companies used to siphon the state’s funds, The Trumpet gathered.
Makinde spoke in Ibadan during a programme, State Affairs, on Splash FM, his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa said. The governor said his administration has taken steps to block and remove ghost workers and pensioners from the payroll.
He indicted a company called Chinese Global. According to him, though it is presented as a Chinese company, he knows those behind it.
He said, “Let me give you an example – when I came in, I looked at how some monies were spent and I believed it was the Paris Club refund they moved, which was about N7bn to N8bn, to Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency.
“This is an agency that operates normally on a budget of about N45m every month but this money came in around November 2017, and in early 2018, they started spending the money.
“When we came in, we discovered they finished spending the money on nothing within one year. They stole the money and I know those behind the stealing and I am after them right now. There is a company called Chinese Global. They said they are Chinese people but we know the people behind it. The company has been shut down as we speak.”
Makinde said he had already questioned the General Manager of OYSROMA on the issue, and he was told there were no fresh recruitments or contracts awarded.
He added, “He (the GM) said the company supplied asphalt and I said if the company did, was the asphalt used to repair roads without employing new people and giving out contracts? He said the money was moved from OYSROMA to Chinese Global and two other companies without any supply from the companies.
“As a result of that, I wrote to the EFCC and reported the matter about what we are facing here. Chinese Global is also the company they awarded the Bembo-Apata Road contract to, and the same company got the Ido-Eruwa project. But I said to them, ‘guys, you have Oyo State money with you. Go ahead and use the money to finish up the roads and they promised to do it.’ As soon as former Governor Abiola Ajimobi passed on, they reneged on all those projects. And I said, fine. As long as you have Oyo State money with you, I will get it back for our state.”
The Governor said the money was between N12bn and N15bn and that those who stole the money were not Chinese but people from Oyo State.
Makinde added that “We know them, and very soon, wherever they have investment or property in the world, I will go after them and collect this money for our state.
“This is a promise I made and I am not saying it outside of what I have discussed directly with the people involved. Oyo State’s money will come back. Those who stole the money are the members of the APC who were in the government then.”