‘I didn’t join APC because of my case with EFCC’ – Alao-Akala

Former governor of Oyo State, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala has said he did not join the All Progressives Congress (APC) because of his case with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Sparking during an interview to commemorate his 70th birthday celebration he said “They said I joined the APC because I had a case with the EFCC. I swear with all that I have in my possession that I have not approached any APC member to help me because of my case with the EFCC. The case with EFCC is not about any political witch-hunt.

“They didn’t charge me with embezzlement. They said we constructed some kilometres of road. I asked who did it and they said local government chairmen. Am I a local government chairman? They have charged the wrong person. They are just wasting my time. I didn’t go to the APC because of that; I swear on that.”

Alao-Akala is standing trial along with his then Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Hosea Agboola, and an Ibadan-based businessman, Femi Babalola for an 11-count charge preferred against them by the EFCC.

The charge against them bordered on “conspiracy, awarding contract without budgetary provision, obtaining by false pretence, acquiring property with money derived from an illegal act and concealing the ownership of such property”.

Alao-Akala is alleged to have awarded a road contract worth about N8.5 billion between 2007 and 2009 without budgetary provision, to Pentagon Engineering Services, a company traced to Babalola.

The said contract was executed on behalf of the 33 local governments in the state. Alao-Akala was alleged to have ordered for the supply of drilling machines worth about N3.5 billion on behalf of the local governments.

He was also alleged of conspiring with Agboola to withdraw N2.9 billion from the Oyo State Local Government Joint Account, and for illegally acquiring some property on Old Bodija road, off Rotimi Williams road, when he was in office.

The APC chieftain noted that he has not approached any APC member to help him with his case, saying that he joined the APC because of the popularity of the party.

He accused the EFCC of charging him wrongly, adding that the anti-graft agency is wasting its time pursuing a case against him.

The former governor lamented that the offences leveled against him are not connected with embezzlement.

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