Dare Olipede, the Permanent Secretary in the Local Government Board and Pension Transition in Ondo state has disclosed that those opposed to his promotion wrote a fresh petition against him which led to his arrest last weekend.
He spoke while reacting over his arrest by the combined operatives of the Police Special Fraud Unit following a petition written against him over allegations of fraud and embezzlement of funds.
SaharaReporters had reported that Olipede who was promoted as a Permanent Secretary on November 17, 2017, was accused of conniving with some council officials to pocket the sum of N60 million meant for the council.
Mr. Oliepde denied engaging in any shady deal with the fund claiming that with his twenty years of service in the state noting that the petition written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) were properly investigated and found to be lacking merit.
He noted that the two anti-graft agencies found him innocent of all the allegations in the petition and some projects executed in Owo Local Government during his tenure as Director of administration.
“When a petition came, principal officers of the local government were invited to the office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and explanation was made satisfactorily and the case was closed.
“This same group of people wrote another petition to Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the state government, and an investigation was also conducted and no one was found guilty.
“Then, as a former Director of Local Government, I am not a spending officer and my schedule covers supervision of council activities and signing of cheques.
“Those who actually expended the money are the Head of Works Department, the Head of Finance Department and the Head of Environmental Department”.
Olipede later confirmed that the N60 million Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program [SURE-P] fund was given to all the 18 Local Government Areas of the state before the 2016 gubernatorial election by the last administration for some capital projects.
According to him, the fund was expended on some visible projects in the local government with the aid of direct labour and the local contractors in Owo area of the state.
"The government of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko gave each Local government N60million in October 2016 for the execution of capital projects in all the 18 local government areas of Ondo state and in Owo Local Government where I was working then, the N60million was judiciously utilized.
"This N60million was spent on visible projects in Owo Local government which included the construction of over 1000 meters line drainages in the nooks and crannies of Owo local government, construction of cow market, evacuation of refuse dumps in the nooks and crannies of Owo Local government.
"In fact, the House of Assembly of Ondo state in their oversight function in December last year, visited Owo local government among other local governments in the state and adjudged Owo local government as the best local government that utilized the N60million SURE-P fund judiciously”.
He also noted that he was promoted to the position of Permanent Secretary in the state workforce after the government had properly investigated and found no fault in his activities and personality.
“It is the handiwork of my adversaries, known and unknown. God has lifted me as a permanent secretary because a man cannot receive anything unless it is given to him from above.
“So, in view of the above, it is a high level of mischief for anyone to have alleged me of any fraudulent activity or shady deal”. Mr. Olipede said.