Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has warned former office holders in the state still in possession of the state’s property to return them or risk being reported to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for prosecution.
Makinde gave the warning in Ibadan while receiving the Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, and his management team in his office.
” The state government expects that the former office holders will cooperate with it and return funds traced to them.
“We are not here to witch-hunt the past administration or individuals, that is why the commission has not seen a lot of petitions coming from us.
“But, as we have progressed, what we have seen is that some of the resources accruing to the state are mismanaged, we have been talking to the people involved.
“If they return those resources, then, we probably won’t need to come to ICPC because the whole idea is for the commission to help us recover those resources of the state that had been stolen.
” But If they refuse to cooperate, I am just putting them on notice now, then, we will come to ICPC for assistance,” he said.
He further promised that he would equally declare his assets openly after his tenure just like he had done when he assumed office, stressing that accountability would be the watchword of his administration.
“We have taken corruption as a canker-worm that we know can destroy all of us if not checked.
“Most importantly, for the leaders, you have very few of us that decided to hold ourselves accountable, that is why upon resumption of office, I publicly declared my assets.
“I did not want people to start going through Freedom of Information Act channel to have clarity of where one is coming from.
“At the end of my tenure of office, I also will come out to declare my assets publicly. I strongly believe that even if we are able to reduce the amount of transactions with elements of corruption, we may just reduce it by 30 per cent to 40 per cent.
“It is a huge amount that will become available to develop our country and our state,” Makinde said.
On the domestication of anti-corruption commission in the state, the governor stated that it was to guide against theft of the state’s resources.
“We also feel the closer the anti-corruption efforts get to the people, the better the resources we are going to get at the end of the day,”he said.
Owasanoye, on his part, said the visit by ICPC was to thank the governor for the release of a parcel of land for the commission to build a prototype structure of the commission in the state.
Owasanoye said the commission was ready to cooperate with the government in the state, especially in the area of system’s review.
He disclosed that the commission had commenced a system review at the sub-national level, adding that the commission does not want Oyo State to be left out of the process.
The ICPC boss also urged the government to allow the commission help nurture its upcoming anti-corruption commission.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some members of the Senate and House of Representatives committees on anti- corruption agencies were among the team that visited the governor.
Among them were Sen. Kola Balogun, Sen. Abba Moro, Mr Nicholas Garuba, Mr Jimoh Olajide and Mr Odebunmi Jenyo.(NAN)