N16bn refund: Osun AG resigns, warns banks against withdrawals

The alleged resignation of the Accountant General of Osun State, Mr. Alaba Kolawole, has sparked controversies and allegation of fraud against the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola-led government in the state.

There are claims that the Accountant General, who celebrated his 60 birthday in July, was granted an extension of service by the governor until October but Kolawole reportedly tendered his resignation on Friday.

He was said to have written letters to some commercial banks that they should no longer honour any cheque bearing his signature starting from Monday, September 10.

But the Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr. Adelani Baderinwa, when contacted told our correspondent that the accountant general did not resign but that he retired on the account of clocking the mandatory age of 60.

The commissioner later issued a statement on Kolawole’s retirement and said Aregbesola had accepted the resignation and wished him well in his future endeavours.

The statement read, “Accountant General of the State of Osun, Mr. Alaba Kolawole, has retired from the 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 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.”

But Peoples Democratic Party in the state has linked the alleged sudden resignation of Kolawole to the secret release of N16.67bn election fund to Osun State by All Progressives Congress-controlled Federal Government.

State Chairman of PDP, Mr. Soji Adagunodo, who said this in a statement, also called on anti-corruption agencies to investigate the development.

Adagunodo added that the issue also confirmed the several concerns raised by PDP about the manner in which Aregbesola had been handling the finances of the state in the last eight years.

PDP also berated the Federal Government for allegedly secretly funding APC election through a selective disbursement of Paris Club refund to Osun State.

The statement read, “The sudden and controversial resignation of the Accountant General of Osun State, Mr Alaba Kolawole, is linked to the secret disbursement of a sum of N16.67bn election funds to the state by the Federal Government.

“We also have it on good authority that top officials of the Ministry of Finance and the Accountant General have raised concerns about the manner in which Governor Aregbesola is applying another N13bn recently refunded to Osun State for federal roads purportedly rehabilitated by the state.”

The opposition party expressed surprise at why the governor had not paid arrears of workers’ 34 months salaries and pensions.

Punch

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