Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ekiti State has alleged that the recent workers’ verification exercise has revealed how the administration of former Governor Kayode Fayemi diverted over N4billion entitlements of workers to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The party said that ghost workers detected during the exercise were among the methods used by Fayemi to perpetrate the fraud.
In a swift reaction, the state chapter of APC, accused Governor Ayodele Fayose of his old practice of falsehood and blackmail to divert Ekiti people’s attention from proven cases of sharp practices by his administration.
The APC said the PDP’s allegation of diversion of N4billion by Fayemi was to take Ekiti people’s attention from the N720million Fayose awarded himself as salary arrears for his unfinished first term while at the same time owing workers salaries and pensioners entitlements.
In a statement by the PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Jackson Adebayo, in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday, the party claimed that some of the civil servants who collaborated with the APC in the shady deal and who also claimed that they were short-changed, exposed the shady deal.
Adebayo said that the money involved in the fraud amounting to N2.1billion, was withdrawn from the salary accounts of civil servants and moved to the APC Secretariat for sharing from the four years that the APC government was led by Fayemi.
The PDP spokesman added that the missing deductions from workers’ salaries for the months of April, May, June, July and August 2014 running to about N1.8billion was also traced to the APC Secretariat, as information had it that it was packaged for the running of the party after Fayemi lost his re-election bid in June 2014.
He said: “We have it on good authority that the missing deductions from civil servants’ salaries for five months were gathered together immediately it dawned on the Fayemi-led government that there will be no funds to maintain the party after his exit on October 16, 2014 because the party would not have access to the money from the ghost workers again.”
The PDP stated that a certain amount of money set aside for the payment of members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, which was about N220million was given to members of the state executive of the APC by Fayemi as a parting gift.
“It is just unfortunate that most of these facts are coming out now. Initially, we thought they were mere rumours; it is now clear that the APC government deliberately robbed Ekiti workers of their entitlements in an unprecedented fraudulent manner that cannot even be imagined in a Banana Republic.
“We are calling on all the stakeholders, especially the traditional rulers in Ekiti State and across Nigeria to prevail on the leadership of the APC to return all the money so fraudulently moved to the party from the state’s account, particularly the deductions from workers’ salaries considering the prevailing economic downturn the government of the state is facing due to the huge debt left by the immediate past administration of the APC,” he added.
The party also called on the anti-graft agencies to act on petitions submitted to them without further delay.
In a counter statement by APC Publicity Secretary, Taiwo Olatubosun, expressed dismay that the governor was just realising that N4billion was diverted by Fayemi after eight months in office and after the governor was exposed as an enemy of workers, having owed workers’ salaries and pensions at the time he awarded himself N720m and paying back N650m to his election contractors.
“It is laughable that as much as N4billion was diverted and or embezzled by the Fayemi administration and Fayose is just knowing eight months after assumption of office, pretending that a kangaroo verification exercise had revealed this. This is better told to the marines!
“Fayemi had earlier offered his administration for probe when Fayose started a similar campaign of calumny to cover his tracks in financial mismanagement but the governor had no courage for such exercise because there was nothing to probe.
“Fayose is at it again in his usual funny game to divert Ekiti people’s attention from his sharp practices in governance. This is an afterthought that exposes his ignorance and confusion. If Fayose is sure of his facts, he should not waste time in taking his case to the EFCC,” Olatubosun said.
“There is no deduction anywhere. It is not possible. Even though for the two years that federal allocations to the state dwindled with as much as N500 million, Fayemi was still paying workers’ salaries with overdraft until Fayose as governor-elect wrote to banks to stop it, so how was any deduction and diversion possible under that situation?
”The biometric system was so transparent such that it did not allow ghost workers syndrome, but since the PDP is now saying its government had detected 1,000 ghost workers, we are interested in unmasking the ghosts, which we believe is the governor’s making and we demand that the names of these ghost workers be published,” he said.