Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday signed into law the Oyo State Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Law.
With the signing of the law, which is a domestication of the anti-graft law made by the Federal Government, all proven cases of corruption, financial mismanagement and misappropriation of government funds are now punishable under Oyo State laws.
Makinde signed the bill into law at a brief ceremony, which held at the Executive Chamber of the Governor’s office, Agodi Secretariat.
He described the latest move as an opportunity for his administration to prove to the whole world that he could run a transparent and accountable government.
The event was witnessed by top government functionaries, including the Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, who was represented by the Majority Leader, Mr. Sanjo Adedoyin; Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Olubanwo Adeosu; Chief of Staff, Chief Bisi Ilaka; state Head of Service, Mrs. Amidat Agboola; commissioners, special advisers and members of the state House of Assembly, among other political appointees.
In a brief remark after signing the bill into law, Governor Makinde reiterated that corruption is a menace that must be fought to a halt because of its negative consequences on the people, especially in terms of delaying the putting in place of infrastructural amenities.
He assured the people that the law was not to harass or witch-hunt any individual or political party but to ensure a new culture of doing what is right in the interest of the development and progress of the people and the state, adding that he remained committed to his promise of wavering his immunity to answer questions before the Commission, if the need arises.
Makinde said: “All we have just signed is the anti-corruption law for Oyo State. There is nothing to be afraid of, nothing to fear, at all.
“Why we have domesticated the anti-corruption law is just as we want governance to get closer to the grassroots, the same way we have to guide the resources of the state up to the grassroots level.
“Corruption kills the society. When monies meant for projects, monies meant for salaries, monies meant for certain developmental initiatives are diverted, then we miss the opportunity. So, we believe that we have to tackle corruption. I said during my inaugural address at the Executive Governor of Oyo State that I will be ready to wave my immunity to face any corruption charges against my person and my statement still stands. I still maintain the position.
“This is not a law to witch hunt anyone, it is not about politics or political interests, it is not about APC or PDP, it’s about our state, Oyo State. We know for a fact that, if we tackle corruption, then we have more resources to take care of our people and that is exactly what this law is meant to achieve for us.
“If you write to us a frivolous petition, you also will be sanctioned because that is corruption in itself. The law is to ensure that first, due processes are followed in our financial dealings and also that, our resources are deployed for specific reasons that such resources were appropriated in the first instance.
“So, it’s a new opportunity for us to show to the world that we can run a transparent and accountable government. I do hope that no one in this Executive Chamber this afternoon will fall into the trap of corruption.”
“I did mention before that yes there are very serious temptations. For instance, myself, I am being paid N550,000 and then I have to run a yearly budget of over N200billion. One will be tempted, but we have to resist that temptation. We have to know that, whichever position we currently occupy, it’s based on the trust of the people and when we leave this position, we will still go back to the larger society.
“Our decisions whether we want to perpetrate corruption, the effect is waiting for us out there. So, I want to thank you and give assurance to the people of Oyo State that this law is to keep ourselves in check, hold ourselves accountable and they can also hold us accountable also. Please, if you have anything about any of us, bring such facts out and the law will take its course.