As the All Progressives Congress, APC, prepares to hold its gubernatorial primaries this weekend to pick its flag-bearer for the November governorship elections in Ondo State, aspirations of some of the key contenders appear to be hanging in the balance, following the decision of the federal government to investigate the execution of constituency projects of the National Assembly from 2014 to 2016.
The move by the federal government is coming on the heels of allegations of massive mismanagement of funds meant for the provision of constituency projects by serving and former members of the National Assembly.
Investigations by security agencies have so far revealed that the N200 billion budgeted for constituency projects were diverted to private pockets, as the said constituency projects were either poorly executed or not implemented at all.
This singular decision by the federal government has sent jitters into the camps of some aspirants in Ondo State who are serving legislators in the National Assembly.
They include Senators Ajayi Borofice, Tayo Alasoadura and Hon. Bode Ayorinde.
These aspirants are surely going to face the anti-graft agencies to give account of the funds meant for the execution of projects in their various constituencies.
Security sources also disclosed that Chief Olusola Oke, one of the leading aspirants and a former Ondo State Commissioner in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, was also being investigated for his activities in the interventionist agency during his tenure.
There are widespread fears in the camps of these aspirants that they may be indicted by the on-going investigations, which would lead to possible prosecutions.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) who spoke to newsmen in Abuja, declined to give details of the probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other security agencies involved in the matter, saying that it was “in order not to pre-empt investigation.”
He, however, stated that the funds, the names of legislators and the constituency projects that were not executed would be made public after investigation.
The AGF said his office and the anti-graft agencies had received complaints of how payments were made for constituency projects that were never executed.
He said: “The money for constituency projects had been taken, but certain allegations prevailed that some constituency projects were not executed after the money had been paid 100 percent.
“If money is appropriated in the budget, paid and the projects the funds were meant for were not executed, it is only natural to take steps to find out what happened. If neither the money nor the project can be produced, then you must take steps in accordance with the law.
“There are cases that are specific; we are compiling them. I will not want to pre-empt investigation. We have to allow investigation to be concluded before we go public.”
But while the camps of the aspirants affected by the investigations are expressing deep worries over the turn of events, the supporters of one of the leading contenders, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), were in jubilant mood because they believe that the unfolding developments were in favour of their principal.
A supporter of Akeredolu, Chief Bayo Adeyanju who hails from Owo town claimed in an interview that Borofice deceived Owo people by saying that he would not contest for governorship come 2016, after Owo people had agreed to support his aspiration to the Senate in 2015.
He expressed regrets that Borofice was not only contesting the governorship but was allegedly using the funds meant for constituency projects in Owo and Ose in Ondo North senatorial zone to take the governorship away from Owo.
Chief Adeyanju also disclosed that Owo people were unhappy with Ayorinde who is an Owo indigene, because funds meant for constituency projects in the area were allegedly being used “to procure vehicles for some political leaders to curry political support.”
With the impending investigations into the constituency projects and the possible prosecution of indicted culprits, there is heightened apprehension in the camps of the affected aspirants, namely Borofice, Alasoadura and Ayorinde, that their gubernatorial aspirations may suffer a major setback.

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