The Oyo State Government has said that the Accountant-General of the State, Mrs Kikelomo Adegoke, did not contradict the position of the governor, Seyi Makinde, on the payment of judgment debt to former local government chairmen and councillors.
Reports in a section of the media had twisted the contents of a letter sent to some banks by the Accountant-General, claiming that she contradicted the governor’s stance that the state had no money to defray the judgment debt.
But the state government clarified that the letter, which was sent to the banks in respect of the garnishee order placed on the state’s account in 10 commercial banks by the Federal Capital Territory High Court in December 2023, was consistent with Governor Makinde’s position.
The state government said, “In the letter, the Accountant-General informed the affected banks that the Oyo State Joint Local Government Allocation Account domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria, had already been put on lien to the tune of N3,425,300,000, being the total amount of the judgment debt.
“Having adequately provisioned for the debt, it is therefore both unconscionable and inequitable for nine other banks to do the same in the circumstances.
“This is in fact, consistent with Governor Makinde’s position.
“While speaking on the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) on 23 December 2023, Makinde said although the state had already made provision for the judgment debt, the money would not be paid until the Supreme Court responded on the clarification, which the Oyo State Government had sought from the apex court.
“It is unfortunate that some misguided individuals intent on creating an imaginary division within the Oyo State Government have coloured the contents of the letter to make it seem like Makinde lied.”
It added that the governor has neither said the state will not pay the debt nor that the state had no money to pay, but that the process of the law would be followed to a logical conclusion to avoid paying Oyo State’s money to wrong people.
“For the avoidance of doubts, Governor Makinde has not said that the state will not pay the judgment debt nor did he say the state does not have the funds to pay.
“Rather, the position of the governor is that the whole process of the law must be pursued to a logical conclusion before the money is paid to avoid the state’s fund getting into the wrong hands,” the statement added.