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Stamp Duty: Ogun Governor Dapo Abiodun accused of running a black market within government

Stamp Duty: Ogun Governor Dapo Abiodun accused of running a black market within government
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Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has been accused of conducting government business secretly. According to a statement signed by Asiwaju Akinloye Bankole, publicity secretary.

Ogun State PDP, Abiodun is said to be looking for money to prosecute the election tribunal.

The statement reads in part, “Before now, the Ogun state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the outgoing All Progressives Congress, APC government, led by Prince Dapo Abiodun, on his undying attitude of conducting government business in secrecy.

“Again, our genuine concerns and fears were confirmed on Tuesday (18th April 2023) plenary session of the Ogun state House of Assembly when the outgoing Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun sent two different letters seeking the house’s approval on the recovery of the backlog of Stamp Duties accrued to the state and payment of five per cent to a consultancy firm, Ajap Financial Services Ltd.

“Of course, as a responsible political entity, the PDP is not averse to paying legitimate dues to anybody or a genuine firm hired for a particular service for the state. Financial obligations must be met.

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“However, our immediate concern is that the outgoing governor owes it a duty to put all the details of its official dealings under the scrutiny of the people, especially through the representatives of the people in the state legislature.

“The governor should tell the people who the real owner(s) of Ajap Services, the consulting firm, are. Innocent members of the Ogun State public who have suffered all manner of unpaid pensions and gratuities, delayed salaries, and non-payment of cooperative deductions occasioned by these shoddy deals by the government deserve to know, in detail, the total number and frequency of stamp duties duly collected from Ogun State since 2015 and all hidden terms of the transaction.

This is to ultimately ensure public probity and transparent accountability.

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“Under the PDP-led administration, the people of Ogun State were kept abreast of all government activities in an open, transparent engagement with members of the Ogun State House of Assembly, tagged “Mr Governor Explain This” every quarter. This also complements the open Town Hall Meeting, both programs were transmitted live on all broadcast stations with journalists and citizens in attendance to ask critical questions about the administration.

“We are still surprised that in close to four years of the administration, Prince Dapo Abiodun has found it challenging to engage the people he claims to govern in an open and transparent manner. There are several doubts about Ogun State’s business costs.

“Under the outgoing government of Prince Dapo Abiodun, no citizen, no civil servant, nor even those in the Ministry of Works can categorically say how many roads were built in Ogun State. All contracts are awarded at night to government cronies. Can Ogun State ensure the receipt of backlogs of stamp duty in the hands of such a non-transparent government?

“In order to get to the root of the matter, especially given the fact that the outgoing APC government has largely become untrustworthy, we challenge the leadership and members of the House of Assembly to immediately institute a fact-finding panel to unearth other important hidden terms and details of Mr Abiodun’s request.

“Again, we enjoin members of the Ogun State Legislature to ensure that the debate over this suspicious request by the governor is open to the public. The state legislature has another opportunity to prove its independence and drop its rubber stamp image.

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Seunmanuel Faleye is a brand and communications strategist. He is a covert writer and an overt creative head. He publishes Apple's Bite International Magazine.

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