The Assistant Director of Finance and Account at the Universal Basic Commission (UBC) , Abuja, Mr Adamu Kasau has said that the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBB) was prevented from accessing five different intervention funds from UBEC as a result of illegal withdrawal of the N852.9 million 2012 counterpart fund by the government of Dr Kayode Fayemi.
This was part of the revelations by witnesses at today’s sitting of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Ekiti State Government to probe the finances of the state under the administration of Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
In a letter dated April 16, 2015, with Reference Number; UBEC/FA/SUBEB/EK/183/Vol.II/162, UBEC described the withdrawal as criminal act that violated Section 11(2) of UBE Act 2004 and conveyed its suspension of Ekiti State from accessing any further FGN-UBE Intervention Fund.
At the commission of inquiry sitting today, Mr. Adamu, told the commission of inquiry that the said sum of N852, 936, 713, 92 was paid into Ekiti SUBEB account on December 20, 2013 and the money was illegally withdrawn by the Access Bank on October 8, 2014, close to one year after it was paid.
He confirmed that the State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose had already paid refunded the N852.9 million, which made UBEC to lift its embargo on Ekiti State.
Ekiti State Government under Dr Kayode Fayemi had obtained N852.9 million loan from the Access Bank to access the 2012 counterpart fund from UBEC and the fund was moved out of the SUBEB account one year after.
The loan was gotten from the bank without agreement as to interest rate, terms of payment and no Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO).
Stating reasons why the money was withdrawn, the Branch Manager of Access Bank , Mr. Kayode Adejuyigbe tendered many letters before the commission and all were admitted as exhibits.
Mr. Adejuyigbe who said he joined the bank on July 21, 2017 agreed that he was aware the money in SUBEB account was counterpart fund to access 2012 matching grant, adding that the money was lodged in conformity with the rules of the bank and the money was disbursed.
The counsel to the commission, Bar. Sunday Bamise asked the bank manager whether he was aware that some cheques given to some contractors were returned based on the fact there was no money in the account and Mr. Adejuyigbe responded that the bank exercised its right by recalling the facility based on issues, which he did not disclose.
The Bank Manager said there were outstanding at the point of lodgment and all the other outstanding were communicated to the appropriate officials.
He said a letter was written by the bank on October 2014 to the Commissioner of Finance, intimating him decision of the bank to recall the facility granted to the state government. He stressed that the commissioner was duly notified before reversing the facility.
Earlier the witness to Tianjin-Yuyang Construction Company , Mr. Omonikwe Kinsley was led by the counsel to the firm, Bar. Uche Abonyi presented award of letter for the ultra modern civic centre. Certified copy of valuation certificate was admitted as exhibit.
Cross examining the witness, the counsel to the commission asked whether the state government took a bond for capital project, but the witness opined he was only aware that the construction company was doing the project for Ekiti State Government and that he didn’t know where the proceeds were coming from.
Contract for the construction of a New Civic Centre was awarded to Tianjin-Yuyang Construction Eng. Limited on August 30, 2012 at the cost of N2, 573,584,395.75. Consultancy on the construction was awarded to CASA Nig Ltd on June 11, 2012 at the cost of N137, 611,325.07.
As at the end of 2012, a sum of N643,396,098.94, representing 25 percent of total contract sum had been paid to Tianjin-Yuyang Construction Eng. Limited while the consultant, CASA Nig. Ltd was paid N89,801,901.06, representing 80 percent of total contract sum.
In 2013, a sum of N350, 116,245.17 was paid to Tianjin-Yuyang Construction Eng. Limited, making a total sum of N993, 512,344.11, representing 45% of total contract sum.
Other lawyers who appeared at the proceedings were Mr Olufemi Abiola and Mr Duro Adonis. The duo stood for Access Bank.
The Chairman of the commission, Justice Silas Oyewole adjourned the proceedings till tomorrow, September 13, 2017.