By Seun Adeuyi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, to come clean on reports that N4.6 billion public funds was funneled into private accounts during his tenure as Minister of Power, Works and Housing.
This was contained in a statement signed by the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Wednesday.
Premium Times had reported that Fashola’s ministry paid over ₦4.6 billion into personal accounts of directors, staff in four months.
The media house aleged that between September and December 2019, the sum of ₦4.6 billion was illegally paid into the private accounts of some directors and employees of the then ministry of power, works and housing.
Reacting to this allegation, the PDP charged the Muhammadu Buhari led-Presidency to speak out on the report which it said has further exposed the rot and humongous corruption going on in ministries, department and agencies under the President’s watch, “despite the much orchestrated anti-corruption stance and “holier than thou” attitude of its officials.”
The statement read partly: “Nigerians were shocked by the revelations that between September and December 2019 alone, the sum of N4.6 billion was stolen through fraudulent payments in 654 tranches, without any explanatory details to 21 private accounts belonging to some faceless individuals and certain directors in the then Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, under Fashola.
“It is indeed appalling and of course revealing that such huge fraud, which is in direct contravention of Sections 7, 701 and 713 of our nation’s financial regulations reportedly occurred under Fashola’s watch.
“Section 713 clearly provides that no “public money shall be paid into a private bank account” and that “an official who pays public money into a private account is deemed to have done so with fraudulent intentions”.
The PDP invited Nigerians to note that the pattern and route of this fraud points to a high level conspiracy to funnel out funds from the ministry to service some higher interests, which must be unraveled and the funds immediately recovered.
The party alleged that the level of corruption in the Ministry explains why the nation’s power, housing and road infrastructure had remained in shambles despite the huge resources allocated for development under the Buhari administration.
The party added that the silence by Fashola and the Buhari Presidency over the revelation is heightening apprehensions of complicity in the public space.
The PDP called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to take steps to invite Fashola and all those mentioned in the alleged fraud and ensure that the law takes its course on any one found wanting.
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