Former Osun State governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola
By Olaolu Olusina
Former Osun State governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola has said he has no problem with his summons by the commission of inquiry set up by the state governor Rauf Aregbesola to probe major financial transactions and contracts awarded during his tenure provided the move is to ensure accountability.
Approached to react to the summons Saturday night, Oyinlola told THISDAY: “There should not be any problem provided the whole exercise is about accountability and transparency and provided equity, justice and fair play would be embraced by the committee.
“At least two similar fact-finding exercises, one on Truth and Reconciliation, and another on Contracts Review have been conducted since Ogbeni Aregbesola came into office as governor of Osun State”.
Oyinlola and 69 others have been invited to appear before the commission, which is probing major transactions and contracts awarded by the state government from 2003 to November 2010 when the former governor was in the saddle.
The commission is expected to begin public sitting on Monday September 3 and end by Friday September 14, as its chairman, Prof. Femi Odekunle said at the weekend in Osogbo, the state capital, that the commission had concluded preliminary work on its assignment.
Speaking through Mr. Femi Adelegan, his Principal Secretary, Oyinlola, who is at present Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Secretary, said: “Oyinlola remains a lover of due process, which was why he was one of the first few governors to set up a Due Process Office which ensured that all necessary processes were followed in the award of contracts. Fortunately, all the records are available in the Due Process Office and ministries and departments of the government of Osun State.
“If they request for appearance and information on the conduct of government business, these will be processed in accordance with laid down regulations guiding such proceedings and one hopes that the panel will strive to uphold truth and justice and also act dispassionately for the sake of its credibility and in public interest”.
The plan to probe the seven and a half years tenure of Oyinlola began on June 18, 2012 when Aregbesola inaugurated the six-man commission of inquiry to investigate the contracts awarded by his predecessor in office and a controversial N18.3 billion loan obtained by that regime from a first generation bank.
Aregbesola had said that on his assumption of office in November 2010, he had restructured the loan, a large chunk of which was said to have been drawn in one day, in order to reduce the interests.