Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State at the weekend responded to some of the allegations raised by Justice Folahanmi Oloyede in her petition against him, describing the allegations as “all lies and unfounded”.
Aregbesola, who spoke personally on the issue for the first time since the petition was reported in the media at the 50th birthday celebration of Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Mr. Najeem Salam, in Osogbo, also accused journalists of working to oust him from office.
Aregbesola explained that even if Osun State’s share of the monthly federal allocations was up to N10 billion, it would not have amounted to more than N480 billion in four years.
“How come then they alleged that I have collected N538 billion from the federation account during my first tenure in office? he queried. “Most of them (journalists) want me out of office, but I will triumph over them,” the governor said.
Describing the allegation as “an outright falsehood,” the governor averred that the state did not collect up to N5 billion per month for a long period of time, adding that it even collected as meagre as N466 million in one month.
According to him, despite having access to information about federal allocations that accrued to states in the federation every month as such information was usually published, “they (journalists) still publish figures allegedly dished out by my administration’s detractors, which does not tally with the actual allocations in recent times, in order to put us in disrepute.”
Blaming the nation’s economic woes on large scale oil theft by few individuals during former President Jonathan’s reign, Aregbesola added that his previous allegations were proved right by American intelligence report which he claimed put the nation’s oil theft when Jonathan was president at almost 1 billion barrel per day.
Aregbesola also dismissed allegation that he had been governing Osun from Cuba and Saudi Arabia, stressing that he had not gone on leave since since1999.
He added that attendance at the weekly State Executive Council meetings in the state made available by the cabinet office revealed that out of the 128 executive council meetings held within the period under review, he attended 102 times.
“The last time I was in Cuba was when my son graduated from that country. People should not use the bilateral relation between Cuba and Osun State to create false impression that I have been visiting the country. It is not true,” the governor said.