Alleged N170m fraud: I'm open for investigation, Ekiti Ex-Commissioner says - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, November 18, 2022

Alleged N170m fraud: I'm open for investigation, Ekiti Ex-Commissioner says

By Editor

A former Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism in Ekiti State, Prof. Ojo Bakare, has dismissed as untrue allegations that he diverted over N170 million during his time in the Ministry. 

Ojo described the allegations as baseless because the said N100 million that was claimed he diverted for the 2021 edition of the National Festival of Arts and Culture, NAFEST, hosted by Ekiti State was untrue.

He added that the government of Kayode Fayemi only released a sum of N94 million for the 2021 NAFEST, noting that he discharged his duties professionally and judiciously handled the affairs of the ministry. 

The former Dean, Post Graduate School, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, also debunked the accusation that he and the Ministry's contingents, who attended the Lagos NAFEST programme 2022, spent over N26 million on hotel, when only N15 million was released by government for the 87-member contingents that represented Ekiti.

The academia refuted the allegation that the responsibilities being given to him by Governor Biodun Oyebanji after leaving office connoted that he was planning to scheme a comeback as a commissioner.

Bakare, who threatened to petition the Commissioner of Police, Mr Morounkeji Adesina to investigate the purveyors of the "fake news", charged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, to investigate the Ministry's financial books under his reign.

He said: "Recently, I went to Lagos State on the instruction of Governor Oyebanji  to represent Ekiti. He also asked me to represent him at an event organised by Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria in Ekiti. 

"Those who are eyeing the Commissionership seat  started fighting me. They became threatened thinking that I wanted to come back , so what they wrote was 100 percent lies.

"I am not running the Ministry as a commissioner. The governor sent me on errands as a professional, which I couldn't turn down. 

"They said I embezzled over N100m as a Commissioner during Ekiti NAFEST, even when the entire budget for that event was N94 million. The same event Lagos State hosted with over N2bn. My personal fund went into Ekiti NAFEST. 

"They said I am still collecting money for some Media Houses that the Ministry owed N40m during NAFEST. In case they didn't know, the National Council for Arts and Culture was responsible for the funding for publicity, my office only supported with a token  .

"In the Lagos NAFEST that we attended, we didn't owe any hotel in Lagos, the entire contingents in Ekiti were  camped at a faith-based centre  in Gbagada . 87 people represented Ekiti and the money budgeted for them was just N15m, no case of N26m hotel accommodation debt."

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