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Paris Club Refunds: I did not stop investigation – Kogi Speaker

*Blogger behind story is a coward

Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Prince Mathew Kolawole, has debunked allegations that he has stopped the investigations by the House over alleged misappropriation of the second tranche of Paris Club Refunds for the State.

Kolawole was reacting to an online publication accusing him of conspiring with the Executive arm of government to ensure at all cost that the Parliament never dabbles into how state resources is being spent.

As it is, the investigation of that fund must have been responsible for the coup d’grace that led to the forced exit of the former Speaker. www.gongnews.net recalls that the Assembly before it was invaded by suspected hoodlums under the leadership of the former speaker, Hon. Umar Ahmed Imam, called on the State Accountant General, Commissioner for Finance and Head of Service to appear before the House to give account of how the second tranche of the Paris club refund which was recently accessed by the state was spent.

Kolawole who described the said publication as untrue in a statement made available to www.gongnews.net on Sunday by his Chief Press Secretary, Femi Olugbemi, noted that the publication was aimed at maligning the good rapport that is currently existing between the Executive and the legislature in Kogi State.

The statement reads in parts “ordinarily, we would have preferred not to dignify this unfounded falsehood, but we find it expedient to set the record straight for the sake of the reading public and for the benefit of Kogites whose sensibility might be assaulted via this malicious falsehood the writer posted on the online platform.

“The blogger who was not courageous enough to reveal his identity for reasons best known to him has demonstrated stark ignorance about the workings of the revered Kogi State House of Assembly presently under the amiable leadership of Rt. Hon Mathew Kolawole, a leader who has an impeccable character and credibility.

“Peddling falsehood meant to vilify the person of the Speaker leaves much to be desired as though the writer intended to soil the image of the Speaker and that of the sixth Assembly; he has succeeded in displaying the fact that he is a poor student of history as it concerns transparent investigative journalism.

“To set the record straight, on 2nd August, 2017, some hoodlums besieged the state Assembly to disrupt the plenary session and in the process, Hon. Friday Sanni, member representing Igalamela/Odolu State Constituency was assaulted.

“The act which was not in the character of the entire House was condemned by all the members with the current Speaker who was then the House Majority Leader taking the lead.

“It is instructive to add that Rt. Hon Mathew Kolawole was among those rescued by security agents at the Assembly complex on that fateful day.

“That the act was an ‘order from above’ according to the anonymous writer is an unsubstantiated claim as every well-meaning people including the peace-loving Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello did not only condemn the ignoble act but also immediately ordered a full-scale investigation into the incident and also directed his State Security Adviser to beef up security around the Assembly complex.

“It is callous for a shallow minded quack to assume that the crisis was a prelude to the leadership change in the Assembly as the resignation of Rt. Honourable Imam Alfa which paved way for Rt. Hon Mathew Kolawole to become the Speaker bore no relevance to the crisis that erupted in the House and the invitation of some government officials to provide the House with update on the screening exercise and the disbursement of Paris Club refund.”

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