The Kwara State government has constituted a panel of inquiry to investigate the federal allocations accruing to the 16 local government areas of the state and their share of the internally generated revenue from May 29, 2019 till date.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, apparently, instituted the panel following allegations of diversion of N300million meant for local governments in the state.
A retired judge in the State Judiciary, Justice Mathew Olabamiji Adewara, is to chair the panel, which has two weeks to submit its report.
This was contained in a statement issued in Ilorin on Monday night by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye.
“In pursuance of the powers conferred on the Governor of Kwara State under the Commission of Inquiry Law CAP, C17 Laws of Kwara State, 2006 and other enabling law in that regard, I, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, the Governor of Kwara State, hereby constitute a panel of inquiry into local government federal allocations and IGR accruing to local government councils from May 29 to date”, the statement added.
Besides Justice Adewara as chairman, the statement listed Mrs Sabitiyu Grillo, a permanent Secretary, as the Secretary while a representative each from the Department of State Service (DSS); Nigeria Police Force and Mrs Titilayo Adedeji; Alhaji Baba Ibrahim; Barrister Aisha Bello Mohammed; and Alhaja Asmau Apalando are to serve as members of the panel.
It said the panel of inquiry had been mandated to investigate and probe funds received and disbursed to all the 16 local government councils of Kwara State from May 29 2019 to date.
The statement listed the terms of reference of the panel to include:
“To ascertain the amounts reviewed by local governments as statutory allocation from the federal government from May 2019 to date;
“To determine and ascertain the amounts received by the local governments as IGR from the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) from May 29 2019 to date;
“To determine and ascertain the amounts received by the local governments from other sources into the Joint Allocation Account Committee (JAAC) from May 29 2019 to date;
“To investigate the veracity of the claim of N300m monthly deduction by the Kwara State Government from the local government funds from May 29 2019 to date;
“To determine whether the state government borrowed money from banks or financial institutions to pay salaries at any point in time from May 29 2019 to date;
“To determine how the funds mentioned above were spent monthly by the JAAC;
“To determine the duplicity or otherwise of any Kwara State public official on the matter of local government funds;
“To provide any other information that may assist the State Government in ensuring accountability at all times with respect to the state’s activities and the local governments.”
It would be recalled that the Governor, had earlier asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the state House of Assembly to investigate the allegations of financial impropriety concerning local funds.
The Governor, had also said at different fora, that he remains true to his electoral promise not to touch local government funds in compliance with not just the NFIU guidelines but his longstanding belief in the local government autonomy for grassroots development.
In line with the Governor’s request, the state House of Assembly, a fortnight ago, set up AbdulGaniyu Folabi Salahu adhoc committee to investigate the alleged diversion of funds of the 16 local government areas of the state.