Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested the immediate past Chairman, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, Prof Muritala Awodun, and a former Chairman of Finance and Appropriation Committee, Kwara State House of Assembly, Mr Moshood Bakare, over an alleged N5bn fraud in the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service.
Also being interrogated for the fraud allegedly perpetrated between 2015 and May 2019 are some employees of the revenue service.
The EFCC also stated that the immediate past state Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Ademola Banu, a former state Accountant General, Mr Ishola Sulyman, 24 ex-lawmakers in the state House of Assembly, some Permanent Secretaries and highly-placed politicians in the state participated in looting the state funds.
A statement issued on Friday by the EFCC Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said, “The EFCC has uncovered how the 24 ex-lawmakers of the Kwara State House of Assembly, the immediate past Commissioner for Finance, Ademola Banu, and some companies allegedly swindled about N5bn belonging to the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service between 2015 and 2019.
“The immediate past Chairman of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, Prof Muritala Awodun, a former member of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Mr Moshood Bakare, and some workers of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service are presently being interrogated by the operatives of the commission.
“It was discovered during the investigations that about five companies linked to the highly-placed politicians in Kwara State benefited about N4bn from the money without any valid contractual agreements with the state government.”
The EFCC claimed that Bakare said while the fraud was being perpetrated, about N4m was being paid into the bank account of his personal assistant who was presently being detained by the EFCC.
“He would withdraw the money and give it to me and I would then hand it over to the Speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad, who would share it among all the lawmakers,” the EFCC’s statement quoted Bakare as saying.
The anti-graft agency further said a Personal Assistant to a former state governor, Rafiu Olasile, received N10m cash from one of the aides to the ex-Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation and Finance.
But in a reaction, a member of the finance committee of the 8th state Assembly told journalists in Ilorin on Friday that the EFCC’s allegations against the immediate past lawmakers were false.
The former lawmaker, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “There was no money withdrawn from the KWIRS by the executive council or the state House of Assembly without following the law and written approval of the state governor during the period mentioned.
“There was no N4m coming to the House every month from the internal revenue service. What is happening is a political vendetta by the present government through the EFCC to tarnish the image of the ex-lawmakers and former government of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.”