Civil Organisation Opposes Secret Probe of Aregbesola

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Aregbesola

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The Civil Societies Coalition for Emancipation of Osun State wants the state House of Assembly to make public its probe of financial impropriety levelled against Governor Rauf Aregbesola and his deputy

THE Civil Societies Coalition for Emancipation of Osun State, CSCEO, has rejected plans by the committee set up by the State House of Assembly to probe behind close-doors Justice Oloyede Folahanmi’s petition against Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Titilayo Grace Tomori, his deputy.

The group insisted that Najeem Salami, speaker, should stand by his earlier statement that the investigation would be conducted openly, saying refusal to do so would be a betrayal of the people’s trust. The CSCEO, in a statement signed by Adeniyi Sulaiman, its chairman, similarly rejected the seven-man panel comprising only members of All Progressives Congress, APC, in an Assembly with two opposition members from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The group said the step taken by the leadership of the state assembly showed that it lacked the integrity and the will-power to dispassionately and justly investigate the allegations of financial impropriety levelled against Aregbesola.

While demanding that the governor’s response to the petition be made public, the CSCEO said all indications had shown that the committee had already written its report before commencing sitting.

The statement of the group said in part: “We have painstakingly studied the script already written by the APC and we promise that we will resist any attempt to rubbish Justice Folahanmmi’s petition against the governor and his deputy.

“Looking at the committee, we discovered that the Chairman, Adegboye Akintunde, who is the House’s Deputy Speaker, is from the same Osogbo constituency with the deputy-governor while another strong member of the panel, Owoeye Timothy, the House majority leader, is from the same Ilesa-East constituency with the governor.

“Can there be justice and fair hearing by this committee? This will be a mirage. How can APC lawmakers find APC governor guilty of any offence? How can the lawmakers burn the fingers that had been feeding them?

“We saw a similar thing in Lagos when the late Chief Gani Fawehimi, a human right crusader per-excellence petitioned the then Lagos House of Assembly over Senator Bola Tinubu’s certificate saga. Rather than the then all Alliance for Democracy, AD, lawmakers investigate the matter thoroughly, the House committee led by Jide Omoworare pronounced Tinubu as not guilty.

“For us, we are going to ensure that nothing is swept under the carpet. We are going to enforce the state lawmakers to perform their constitutional responsibilities. Enough is enough of this impunity by the governor and his deputy in Osun state.”

The coalition noted that there were overwhelming evidences of financial misappropriation against Aregbesola and that there were several actions of the governor which violated the letters of the 1999 constitution.

Justice Folahanmi had petitioned the state House of Assembly asking it to impeach Aregbesola and his deputy for reckless spending, saying it was the cause of the inability of the state to pay its workers for seven months.

—  Jul 21, 2015 @ 17:20 GMT

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