By Gbenga Sodeinde, Ado Ekiti
One, Mrs Cecilia Akinleye a grade level 9 officer and Mr Bello Olajide, a grade level 10 officer, who are officials of the Ekiti State Central Medical Store, Ado-Ekiti are now in police custody in Ekiti State, currently being interrogated over alleged fraud running into N7 million.
The two accused persons were handed over to the police on Thursday in Ado Ekiti following the directive of the State Governor, Ayo Fayose, that a thorough investigation of the matter be conducted.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that an audit of the finances of the agency early in the year showed that over N7 million was missing from the account of the agency
Mrs Akinleye, a cashier in the agency, who is the prime suspect in the matter, had accused Olajide, the accountant, of collecting the money from her on various dates beginning from April this year.
According to her, before she started giving out the money to Olajide, few days after her posting as the cashier, she informed a fellow worker, Mrs Adekemi Ojuawo, that her boss asked her to borrow him the agency’s money in her care.
“Mrs Ojuawo warned me against doing this, but because he is my boss, when he came to ask that I borrow him the money again, I obliged him. I know this is against civil service rule.
“The first money he took from me was N100,000 that was on April 16, 2015. He went ahead to borrow from the government money 36 times. The least he took was N50,000 and the highest was N300,000,” she alleged.
She added that sometimes Olajide would take drugs on credit from the store and asked her to write official receipt to cover the payment without paying.
In his defence, Olajide denied ever taking any money from the woman, saying some of the dates listed by Akinleye were public holidays like May 29, 2015.
To this, Akinleye replied that Olajide had called her a day before to come and give him the money on Democracy Day somewhere in Ado-Ekiti.
Olajide, further in his defence, said he was on leave from early May to June this year and that it was when he resumed and was asked to audit the account that he discovered the fraud.
He said he drew the attention of Akinleye to the anomaly and that for three weeks, Akinleye was dogging the issue and he had to report to his superior.
Officials of the Ministry of Health, including the general manager of the store and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Folake Olomojobi, said it was because the people were not complying with extant rule of paying all daily proceeds to the banks that allowed them to perpetrate the fraud.
The suspects were later handed over to the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Etop John James.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Alberto Adeyemi, said the police were investigating the matter.