• Friday, March 01, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Ex-OPIC boss seeks forensic audit

Ex-OPIC boss seeks forensic audit

Former managing director of Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC), Babajide Odusolu, has denied allegations of misappropriation of state funds levelled against him by the Ogun State House of Assembly.

He called for a forensic audit of OPIC account in the past 10 years, including the six years he served as the corporation’s managing director.

Odusolu explained that OPIC is a statutory corporation that is regularly audited by an auditor independently recommended by the audit-general of the state, recalling that the present Ogun State government recently commissioned an audit of the OPIC account, and his tenure in office was neither queried nor indicted.

He described the attack on him by the state assembly as ‘victimisation’, faulting the claim by the assembly that over N2.58 billion was unaccounted for during his tenure in office.

On the House directive that he should refund the sum of N40 million unaccounted for in 2019, he explained that it was wrong of the House to blame him for the expenditure made as part of the running cost for OPIC project which involves payment of artisans at OPIC project sites, which was not withdrawn or signed by him, neither was it paid to his account.

Read also: NAFDAC drives behaviour change sensitisation to grassroots

Giving insights into the House directive that he should also refund N881.5 million expended on the construction of MITROS Residence on the approval of the state executive council, he said that could only be possible if the state government, which owns MITROS, issues the title document on his name to enable him get investors to lend him money to pay.

On the sale of 8.2 hectares of land at Isheri to Rainerhill Limited, he said the sale was legitimately concluded and approved by the state executive council. He explained that the land was sold at a reduced rate to encourage the company to invest, and that the investor also expended quadruple the amount it spent in buying the land to make the land viable.

Responding to the allegation of five-stars Marriot Hotel at OPIC Ikeja Plaza, Odusolu said the transaction was initiated and concluded before the emergence of Ibikunle Amosun as the governor of Ogun State and him as the managing director of OPIC.

On the impact of the House of Assembly actions, Odusolu said that such de-markets the state, shows that nothing can be done well in Nigeria, and scares professionals from coming to serve and help in developing the state.

“We need to maintain the honour of OPIC for the sake of the investing public. Therefore, let an audit be carried out on OPIC account for the last 10 years,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adetunji Adedoyin-Adeniyi, managing partner of AAA Chambers, counsel to Odusolu, who argued that his client’s constitutional right of fair hearing was largely violated by the State House of Assembly, said his client will go to court to seek redress.

According to him, the embattled former OPIC boss has decided to go to court to challenge the procedure adopted by the Ogun State House of Assembly in indicting him.