July 23, 2024

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Community petitions EFCC to investigate alleged fraud of N720million by residents’ association

3 min read
Mojisola Lawal
Residents of Otumara community in the Ebute Meta (west) of Lagos Mainland Local Government of Lagos state have written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over alleged misappropriation of monthly electricity and security funds by the community’s residents’ welfare association.
In a petition dated 21th of May 2020 which was written to the Lagos zonal office of the commission on behalf of residents in the community by the Chamber of Kayode Ajala and co over alleged misappropriation of N720m being the total amount of money generated on electricity and security funds from residents between 2011 and 2020 by Otumara Residents’ Welfare Association, ORWA has been collecting electricity and security bills from over 300 households in the community.
The letter headlined as “Fraudulent Misappropriation of Community Fund By Otumara Residents’ Welfare Association (ORWA) to the Tune of N720m” and duly stamped and acknowledged by the administrative department of the commission reads in part “We have our client instructions and on behalf of the Community Development Association and entire residents to write petition for immediate investigation of alleged fraudulent activities by the Otumara Residents Welfare Association, ORWA which has been collecting monthly electricity and security bills from over 300 households in the community to the tune of N5million per month and N720million for its nine years of operation and channelling large chunk of it for their personal use.
Our client informed us and we verily believe him that the fraud perpetrated between 2011 to date has left the community under-developed and many residents in penury and oppressed.
It is therefore disheartening to see perpetrators of this fraudulent acts living large and enjoying the protection of the police while they assume the role of Eko Electricity Distribution Company by disconnecting and reconnecting electricity at will.
We hereby appeal to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC to investigate this allegation of fraud and bring perpetrators to justice.”
While adducing reasons for the petition, head of Otumara community, High Chief Kehinde Kalejaiye said it was necessary for the achievement of accountability and probity in the running of affairs of the community.
Kalejaiye disclosed that he has been inundated with complaints from residents on how the electricity and security committee has been exploiting and misappropriating monthly electricity and security funds.
He stated, “We have been facing series of challenges in Otumara community. But rather than work collectively to confront these challenges, it is unfortunate that the electricity and security committee headed by Prior Ohunyon is taking advantage of it to exploit and oppress residents.
Residents are complaining. They groan under high monthly electricity and security bills which this committee forcefully collect from them every month. Consequent to these complaints, I invited members of the committee to give account of the money collected and how it was spent.
But rather than be accountable, they were adamant and continue with their exploitative tendencies. They live above the ruling authorities in Otumara community. They oppress and exploit residents freely and when this is becoming unbearable, I felt the best thing to do is to get the EFCC involved to investigate their wrongdoings. And I am glad that we are making progress in our efforts to fight against corruption in our community.”
Chairman of the Community Development Association, Abass Ishola laments dearth of developmental projects in the community.
He condemned the excesses of the electricity and security committee who according to him promotes their self-interest instead of working for the progress of the community.
He added that, “We are now at a stage in our community where we take our destinies in our hands.
 We cannot be living in the past by allowing few members of the committee that was fraudulently established and pretending to be serving the interest of the community to dehumanise us.
We are glad we have an incorruptible leader in the person of our community head, High chief Kehinde Kalejaiye with whom we have been at the forefront of fighting this injustice.
And I hope at the end we will have a better story to tell in terms of development in our community.”

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