29 February 2020. Voice of Nigeria: The Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has warned former political office holders to accede to his plea and return government property in their custody or risk being dragged before the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for the recovery.
Governor Makinde gave the warning while playing host to a delegation from the ICPC, led by the Commission’s Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, at the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Ibadan, the State capital.
He said that the anti-graft agencies have not been receiving petitions from his administration because he had no intention of witch-hunting his perceived political enemies in the past administrations but with time, it had been discovered that some of the State resources were mismanaged.
“We have been talking to the people involved. If they return those resources, then, we probably won’t need to come to ICPC because the whole idea is for you to help us recover those resources of State Government that had been stolen. If they refuse to cooperate, I am just putting them on notice now, then we will come to ICPC for assistance,” the Governor stated.
Governor Makinde promised to publicly declare his assets at the end of his tenure of Office the way he did on his assumption of Office, for the purpose of accountability and allow people to judge if or not he acquired fraudulently from public funds, saying corruption is a cankerworm that can destroy all, if not checked.
The Governor said, “I strongly believe that, even if we are able to reduce the amount of transactions with elements of corruption, we may just reduce it by 30 to 40 percent. It is a huge amount that will become available to develop our Country and our State.”
Explaining the reason for setting up a State Anti-Corruption Agency, Governor Makinde noted that since the Nigerian Government has EFCC and ICPC to investigate corruption related to federally allocated revenues, such agencies are needed in states because revenues are also generated locally.
“If you look at the Federal agencies, they don’t have limitless resources and you have all these corruption tendencies and cases all over the place. So, we felt the closer the anti-corruption efforts get to the people, the better the resources we are going to get at the end of the day,” he stated.
Governor Makinde stressed that he believed in fiscal federalism, saying an answer needed to be provided to the unique question of who is mandated to check the people checking others.
The visiting team comprised ICPC Board members, Chairmen of Committees on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes in the Senate and House of Representatives with their members, Directors and Commissioners in the Commission.
The team had paid the call on the Governor to thank the State for providing the land on which the newly commissioned permanent Office of ICPC in Ibadan, which is the first of its kind in the country, was built.