The Peoples Democratic Party has accused the federal government of releasing N16.6 billion Paris Club refund to Osun state ahead of the September 22 gubernatorial election.
In a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP national publicity secretary, the party said the purported illegal diversion of public fund is tantamount to corruption on the part of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The party alleged that part of the fund was meant to “bribe” leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to support Buhari’s re-election bid.
“Further investigation reveals that bulk of the money has already been penciled for sharing to APC leaders, especially at the national level, as bribe, to short-circuit the system to favour Buhari’s reelection bid, while the people of Osun continue to suffer deprivation,” the statement read.
“The PDP has been further made aware of how part of the fund will be moved to private company accounts as well as various hidden locations for the compromised INEC officials and APC leaders.
“Indeed, these revelations have clearly shown that the Buhari Presidency and the APC care less about the welfare of Nigerians and have completely sold themselves to sleazes and corruption for selfish gains.”
Soji Adagunodo, chairman, Osun chapter of PDP, also alleged that Alaba Kolawole, accountant-general of the state, resigned his position over the “secret disbursement of a sum of N16.67bn election funds.”
Adagunodo added that the issue also confirmed the several concerns raised by the PDP about the manner in which Rauf Aregbesola, the state governor, had been handling the finances of the state since he assumed office.
Kolawole was said to have written letters to some commercial banks that they should not honour any cheque bearing his signature effective from September 10.
But Adelani Baderinwa, Osun state commissioner for information, in a statement, said Kolawole retired upon attaining the compulsory retirement age of 60 from the civil service.
“Mr. Kolawole retired from service, having gotten to the threshold age of 60 years a few weeks back, in line with the civil service rules and practice,” he said in a statement.
“He had served the state meritoriously in various capacities since he joined the service some decades ago and he was appointed the Accountant General of the state by Governor Rauf Aregbesola in 2012 when he reached the pinnacle of his career.
“Mr. Kolawole was known to be diligent and hard-working in his duties while in office and the service will miss him and his contributions.”