Adeleke Allegedly Under Pressure To Probe Oyetola Govt

Adeleke Allegedly Under Pressure To Probe Oyetola Govt

Ayobami Agboola

…Massive Looting Exposed by Contract Committee White Paper

Pressure is mounting on the Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke, to probe the immediate past administration in the state over the mind-boggling revelation of corruption by the contract committee white paper report, New Telegraph has learned.

The financial improprieties uncovered by the government panel, an insider in the Adeleke administration shared with this reporter, triggered calls for the Governor to take decisive actions to bring perpetrators to book.

It would be recalled that shortly after his inauguration, Governor Adeleke had set up several committees, among which is the contract committee, saddled with the responsibility of looking at contracts and agreements entered into in the name of the state by the Oyetola administration.

The nine-man committee headed by a former Attorney-General in the state, Barrister Niyi Owolade had submitted its report and the white paper report has also been handed to the Governor, this paper learned.

A government insider confided in this reporter that the findings captured in the white paper report were shocking and revealing, prompting members of the kitchen cabinet of the governor to press for a full-blown probe to ensure that officials found culpable in shortchanging the state are made to answer for their crime.

The white paper report detailed instances of alleged duplicity in contract awards, disregard for due process, and arbitrariness in contract awards among other malfeasance that cost Osun several billions of naira.

The findings, the source noted, corroborated an August 2023 investigative story of an Osun-based Newspaper, Osun Defender on how procurement laws were brazenly disregarded by the Oyetola administration, resulting in situations where contracts running into billions were awarded to the non-existent company.

“The white paper is on the desk of Mr. Governor (Adeleke) and he’s having a lot of advice to take action on the findings reached because the corruption uncovered was monumental,” the insider source who doesn’t want his name in print as he was not authorized to speak on the matter disclosed.

“From what I know, the Governor (Adeleke) had written the Attorney-General for legal advice and may soon refer all the findings to anti-corruption bodies to go after leading actors in the scheme that thoroughly shortchanged Osun state. What happened was so bad and Mr. Governor is being prevailed not to let it go without those responsible brought to book.”

Of much concerning in all the revelation, the source added is the impunity of the Works Ministry under the past administration, which not only sidestepped due processes in most of the contracts awarded but also prized them out of their true value.

“Contracts were awarded against their true value because some officials manipulated the bidding process, making Osun pay beyond normal if competitive bidding is strictly adhered to,” he noted.

But the biggest discovery, the source noted, was the awards of some projects in the books yet nothing about their execution anywhere despite payments. This scenario, he disclosed, is widespread, and going by the findings in the report before Governor Adeleke, Osun has lost several billions of naira to the greed of a few people.

“It is an irony that those who have picked up voices lately on governance are at the center of the incomprehensible shortchanging of the state. It is even upsetting to note that the same party that supervised the deliberate pilfering of Osun’s scarce resources is the same one haranguing an administration that is doing everything to fix its mess,” he said.

“Soon, the atrocities of the immediate past administration will be made public, and Osun people can see in full the damage that was done by past officials. The Governor (Adeleke) will do what is right for the state by making sure those who hurt the state pay for it.”

When pressed on the likely time that the white paper report will be made public, the source said Governor Adeleke is trying to explore legal processes by referring the report to anti-corruption bodies who have the legal authorities on prosecuting corruption issues.

“You will recall that shortly after Governor Adeleke came into office, videos, and pictures of how officials of the past administration looted public properties, but they deflated from it by accusing the Governor of pettiness. They went away with vehicles bought with public funds and when raised, they resort to emotional blackmail,” he recalled.

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