Deputy Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Yakubu Gambo told the Senate Committee on Finance’s Budget Defence that the former governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi misappropriated N852 million UBEC fund.
Dr. Gambo, speaking yesterday at the National Assembly, said that Fayemi used the N852 million counterpart funds dedicated for education by federal government through UBEC for purposes other than the originally designated.
According to Gambo, a sum of N852, 936,713.92 was paid into the Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Access Bank account on January 14, 2014 as counterpart fund for 2012 UBEC projects.
On October 8, 2014, eight days to the end of Fayemi’s tenure, the same amount of N852, 936,713.92 was transferred from the account of SUBEB, leaving a sum of N9,139,691.40 as credit balance in the account.
Petitions were written to both the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) on the alleged fraud since 2014.
According to TheBreakingTimes, Fayemi’s Commissioner for Finance, Dapo Kolawole, admitted that the counterpart fund was “borrowed” and used for capital project not related to education.
However, reacting to the allegation made by the UBEC Deputy Executive Secretary, Mr. Kolawole asked; “Is there any law that states that we cannot borrow counterpart funds to support states capital development operations?”
Dapo Kolawole did not however remember to say that using fund meant for projects in SUBEB for projects in other government agencies was virement, a criminal offence punishable with two years’ imprisonment.
He did not also mention that the fraudulent withdrawal of the N852, 936,713.92 SUBEB Counterpart Fund paid to enable the Board access the 2012 fund from UBEC was the reason Ekiti State Government was blacklisted by UBEC.
Informed sources have however confirmed that the N852, 936,713.92 was taken from SUBEB account and later used to pay for some phoney contractors, who in turn made huge returns to some top functionaries of the government, including Fayemi, his Chief of Staff, Adaramodu, Dapo Kolawole, Kayode Jegede among others.
Dr. Yakubu Gambo’s revelation was triggered by question put to the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Yakubu Gambo by a member of the Committee, Senator Adekola Solomon Olamilekan (APC) representing Lagos West Senatorial District.
“It is observed by this Committee that some State Governors divert money meant for executing school infrastructure which was provided by the federal government through UBEC How true is it?” Olamilekan asked.
Gambo confirmed that some governors across the State do tamper with UBE funds by diverting it to other projects not captured within educational framework.
He cited Ekiti State as a case study, explaining that during the administration of Dr. Fayemi Kayode, Ekiti State instead of releasing its own counterpart funds so as to draw down the funds, borrowed from its UBEC’s account without the consent of the agency.
“You see Mr. Chairman, the idea of Ekiti State government going to the Bank to borrow from UBE funds was not with the consent of our agency and the Bank has withheld the money to avoid problems with the new governor and as I speak with you, they have not accessed their funds yet”, Gambo maintained.