A former Ekiti State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Dapo Kolawole, has told an Ekiti State High Court that former Governor Kayode Fayemi left over N17 billion in the treasury by the time he left office on October 15, 2014.
Kolawole also urged the court, presided over by Justice Cornelius Akintayo, to quash the warrant of arrest issued against him by the House of Assembly over his failure to honour the summons given him to give evidence on how the state finances were managed by the immediate past government.
The former commissioner, in the suit seeking the nullification of the warrant of arrest issued by the Assembly, joined the House of Assembly and three other defendants.
He refuted the allegations of financial misappropriation, which allegedly plunged the state into debts, as well as the alleged embezzlement of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) cash levelled against the Fayemi administration by the Ayo Fayose administration.
According the court’s record of proceedings, which our reporter obtained yesterday, Kolawole, who was led in evidence by his counsel, Chief Rafiu Balogun, tendered some documents, including the resolution of the Assembly, the letter of invitation, his medical report and the transcript of a news item aired on Ekiti State Television (EKTV) in which he said he was maligned by two aides of Governor Fayose.
Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Mr. Sunday Bamise, the former commissioner told the court that the House of Assembly Committee’s Chairman on Information, Dr. Samuel Omotoso, and the Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communication and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, appeared on an EKTV programme where they said he (Kolawole) and Fayemi stole state’s funds during their tenure.
Kolawole said he had scheduled an appointment with the Assembly before the duo appeared on the television programme.
The former commissioner said their action passed judgment on him, ahead of testifying before the lawmakers.
He said: “I duly communicated with the House which, to the best of my knowledge, was acceptable to them by their subsequent correspondence, until the time I saw a member of the House on television, calling me a thief and other names.
“I was invited twice to appear before the House and I responded on both times, requesting their permission to appear the third time, which I got invitation for.
“I did not appear the third time because the House, as represented by Dr Omotoso, who was chairman of one of the committees, with Olayinka representing the Executive, going on air and accusing the former governor and myself. I was then instructed not to appear before the House for a hostile interview, as judgment has been passed on me and the Fayemi government.
“The discussion of Olayinka and Omotoso touched on the fact that we stole all the money in Ekiti State and that the (then) new governor was crippled completely without noting the N17 billion we left behind and another N1 billion in another account, that is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“They never mentioned that the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) money, which was the issue of this case, the N852 million they alleged we stole, was actually withdrawn by Access Bank, the owner of the money. They never gave us credit for the interest on that account, taken by the present governor (Fayose).”