There’s been a lot of interest in the ongoing drama between the Ogun State House of Assembly & Ex-OPIC MD Jide Odusolu.
Last Friday, the OGHA said it had indicted Odusolu of financial impropriety at OPIC and asked him to refund money to the state.
The members of OGHA made a big show in the media about this and it looked like a slam-dunk case.
If you thought that would be the end of it, prepare to be surprised. In response to the allegations by the OGHA, Jide Odusolu called a media parley and challenged OGHA to conduct /2
a forensic audit on OPIC to support their claims.
E shock me.
At the parley Odusolu defended his tenure saying, “All issues raised in the publication had been addressed during my appearance before the House Committee on the 13th of October, 2020, following their invitation and in my capacity as the immediate past Managing Director” /3
Jide Odusolu was OPIC MD between 2013-19 and if you pay attention to the statistics, you will agree that was perhaps the period when OPIC was at its most effective; with various projects being carried out while OPIC helped to grow Ogun State IGR. /4
In Oct 2020, d OGHA Public Accounts & Anti-Corruption Committee invited Odusolu to clarify issues concerning OPIC during his tenure as OPIC MD (2013-19). The Committee Chairman,Hon Musefiu Lamidi, alleged that some projects carried out by OPIC were without budgetary provisions /5
The Committee did not stop at just inviting Odusolu, they made a show in the media, a big show.
They invited him and splashed allegations that they had not confirmed all over the media. /6
The OGHA alleged that the sum of N40m, which was tied to the Mitros Residences project could not be accounted for.
They also asked why OPIC sold 8 hectares of land, bought from the Bureau of Lands for over N515 million at Isheri, at a heavily discounted price of N164m. /7
Mr Odusolu responded that OPIC was run like a corporate entity & did not follow the methodology of core civil service budgeting so the Office of the Auditor-general must have misconstrued the issue and raised a false alarm of financial impropriety and misappropriation. /8
He explained that the supposedly missing N40m was allocated as imprest funds used to pay site workers & artisans who worked 24 hour shifts to meet the 60-day accelerated timeline for the Mitros project. He added that cash receipts existed in support of the payments /9
This was supported by the then OPIC finance team led by its Director of Finance and Administration (DFA), Director of Projects, the Internal Auditor and Head of Allocations who had also been summoned by the committee. /10
On the discounted sale of 8 hectares of land by OPIC, Odusolu explained that one of the core mandates of OPIC was to attract investment to Ogun State and that the land was sold to attract promoters of Shoprite to build malls across the state & create jobs. /11
He pointed out that the OPIC Law stated that, the MD reports directly to the Governor as the Chief Executive of the Corporation and that there was no decision carried out without the approval of the Gov or the State Executive Council. /12
OGHA asked Odusolu to return in Nov 2020 to provide more information. He attended that hearing as well with the OPIC DFA and finance team providing various documents to support their earlier statements.
This is where things got interesting. /13
For some reason, the members of the OGHA tried to bar the media from covering Odusolu’s hearing claiming harassment. Why they did not want the media to cover a case they had already made public was surprising but thankfully the media stood their ground./14
At the hearing, Odusolu defended his tenure to the OGHA, listing the many successes of OPIC under his watch, especially how he turned around a corporation which had remitted only 100m in its history to one which generated over N18.7 billion in revenue. 15/
Everything looked okay between OGHA & Odusolu until Friday when they “indicted” him in the media. According to lawyers of the ex OPIC oga, the report indicting him was not made available to him or to the public and they are threatening to sue OGHA. /16
The gist around town is that this seems like a new govt trying to wage war against old govt but it seems like OGHA going after Odusolu was a wrong move. The man is saying the allegations against him are false and he is asking OGHA to carry out an audit./17
I suspect that the OGHA thought that Odusolu would keep quiet due to guilt after being accused of financial impropriety at OPIC, but the man is fighting back.
I think it is good that he’s very determined to clear his name in the media and to the public. /18
I will continue to monitor the issue and if any there’s any sudden developments, I will update you people.
Let’s see if the OGHA will release odumosu’s indictment report and other documents relevant to their allegations to the media.
Until then, I hope civil service people will stop this needless harassment of technocrats who come into govt and ask that things be done in a modern manner.
written by Letter_to_jack
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