EFCC Quizzes Kwara Govt, State Assembly Officials Over Suspicious Payments

EFCC Quizzes Kwara Govt, State Assembly Officials Over Suspicious Payments

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ilorin Zonal
Office has commenced investigations into the alleged illegal payment of
about N400 million to some members of the Kwara State House of Assembly
and the State Executive Council members before the expiration of their
tenures.

To this end, the anti-graft agency is currently interrogating the
Secretary to the State Government, Sola Isiaka Gold and the Clerk of the
State House of Assembly, Kperogi Halimat Jummai over the alleged
payment which did not follow due process.

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It was gathered that all the 25 Lawmakers and some members of the
State Executive Council two weeks ago received about N400 million
severance gratuity before the expiration of their tenure despite the
fact that the State is owing workers about three months salaries.

The petitioner said even though the Lawmakers and members of the
State Executive Council are entitled to severance payment, it was the
next administration that was supposed to pay the money.

It was further alleged that the State Government with selfish intent,
swiftly paid the money before the expiration of their terms.

More worrisome was the issue of furniture allowance running to
hundreds of millions of naira according to the petitioner, which they
wanted paid along with severance gratuity.

In a letter written by the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly,
Dr. Ali Ahmed to the State Governor, it was confirmed that the Lawmakers
were entitled to severance gratuity at the end of their tenure due to
terminate on June 7, 2019.

The letter further stated that: “In accordance with the provisions of
the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMA &
FC) Honourable Members are entitled to 200 percent of their annual basic
salaries as their severance gratuity allowance at the end of their
tenure of Office.”

Kperogi who confirmed that the Lawmakers have received their
severance gratuity told EFCC operatives that the payment was approved by
the State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed.

Kperogi said: “In a meeting of the Principal Officers of the Kwara
House of Assembly wherein I am scheduled to be the Secretary, held on
8th of May 2019, Issue of Severance Gratuity to the Honourable Members
was raised, the principal officers were informed that the State Governor
has approved the payment of the Severance Gratuity.

“At the meeting, I informed the House that his Excellency had
approved the payment, adding that members were expected to be paid after
the expiration of their tenure of Office. The House debated it and they
overruled me.”

On the other hand, Gold wrote and sought for the approval of the
severance gratuity and furniture allowances amounting to about N300
million of some members of the State Executive Council.

In a letter to the State Governor, dated May 8, 2019 Gold said: “Your
Excellency, by virtue of the provisions of Kwara State remuneration of
political and Public Office holders law, certain category of political
and public office holders are entitled to severance and furniture
allowances of their basic salaries respectively upon successful
completion of tenure.”

According to the SSG, while the Lawmakers have received their monies,
members of the State Executive Council are yet to receive their
gratuity.

Meanwhile, the Commission is also investigating the pictures
circulating in the social media which claimed that the government
officials are packing four trucks full of loads to an unknown
destination.

The store keeper of the State is being interrogated as at the time of this report.

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