N400m payment: EFCC quizzes Kwara Assembly Clerk, SSG
The zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Ilorin has invited the Clerk of the Kwara House of Assembly, Kperogi Jummai, over alleged illegal payment of about N400 million to some members of the House.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sola Gold, is also under interrogation.
A statement signed by the Commission’s spokesperson, Mr Tony Orilade, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Tuesday said the duo were being interrogated over the alleged payment which did not follow due process.
According to the statement, all the 25 lawmakers and members of the State Executive Council (SEC) had two weeks ago allegedly received about N400 million as severance gratuity before the expiration of their tenure.
NAN reports that the invitation followed a petition alleging the payment of the sum inspite of the fact that the state government was owing workers about three months salaries.
The anti graft agency also said the petitioner claimed that though the lawmakers and members of SEC were entitled to severance payment, it was the duty of the incoming administration to pay the money.
“He (petitioner) alleged that the state government in their selfish interest quickly paid the money before the expiration of their tenure,’’ the commission said.
The commission also said that in a letter written by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmed to Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, it was confirmed that the lawmakers were entitled to severance gratuity at the end of their tenure on June 7.
The EFCC said during interrogation, the Clerk also confirmed that the lawmakers had received their severance gratuity and that the payment was approved by the governor.
The clerk, according to the statement, claimed that he told the lawmakers that the governor had approved the payment which would be released after the expiration of their tenure of office.
He, however, said the House debated the issue and “ over ruled me.”
The statement said the SSG also wrote and sought for the approval of severance gratuity and furniture allowances amounting to about N300 million for some members of the State Executive Council.
It quoted the SSG as claiming that while the lawmakers received their monies, members of the State Executive Council had yet to receive their gratuity and allowances.
The commission also said it was investigating the pictures circulating in the social media which alleged that government officials were conveying certain items from the Government House in four trucks to an unknown destination.
The store keeper at the Government House, it said, was being interrogated.