Oyo AG Challenges Makinde’s Financial Constraints Claim in N3.4b Debt Dispute

Oyo AG Challenges Makinde’s Financial Constraints Claim in N3.4b Debt Dispute

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The Accountant-General (AG) of Oyo State, Kikelomo Adegoke, has contradicted Governor Seyi Makinde’s assertion that the state lacks the financial capacity to settle the N3.4 billion debt owed to former council chairmen and councillors dismissed upon the assumption of office on May 29, 2019.

A new document filed by one of the state’s banks in the garnishee proceeding, initiated after the Abuja Court of Appeal’s December 8, 2023 judgment, reveals Adegoke’s stance. The court ordered Governor Makinde to pay the debt, which has now accumulated to N3,425,300,000.

The Oyo AG disclosed that sufficient funds exist in the state’s account with First Bank of Nigeria Limited, and the bank has been instructed to earmark the N3,425,300,000 for settling the outstanding judgment debt. The Supreme Court had previously declared Makinde’s dismissal of the council officials as unlawful, ordering the payment of their salaries and allowances for the uncompleted tenure.

Despite Makinde’s claim of the state’s financial constraints, the AG’s document contradicts this stance. The governor had sought permission to pay the outstanding debt in instalments, a request that was rejected by Justice Anote Ebong in April 2023.

In the face of Makinde’s appeal, the Court of Appeal upheld Justice Ebong’s decision on December 8, 2023, directing the governor to comply with the payment order and imposing a N50 million cost against him.

In response to the court’s garnishee order, one of the banks submitted the letter from the Oyo State AG, confirming that First Bank has set aside the required sum. The ongoing legal proceedings involve debates over the mode of payment and objections raised by Makinde’s legal team.

While the ex-council chiefs have sought an order attaching Oyo State government’s accounts in 10 banks, Makinde’s lawyer conveyed his client’s discontent with the Court of Appeal’s decision and disclosed an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The matter is set to continue on January 18, with hearings on pending applications and the possible continuation of the garnishee proceedings.

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