Adams Oshiomole
Adams Oshiomole

PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, in Edo State, recently, accused the state government of fraudulently diverting the bail-out funds approved by the federal government to finance bogus projects amounting to N10 billion at the controversial Edo University, Iyamho.
State Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, called on the House of Assembly to immediately call off its recess and open investigations into all the contracts including one for a senate building for N2.5 billion out of which N625 million was paid to the contractors, Messrs Sagetto Ltd on December 15, 2015 in contravention of the 2015 State Appropriation Law.
He also added the N1.8 billion contract for the construction of male and female hostels at the university out of which N470 million and N983 million was approved and paid to the contractors, Messrs A and K construction on the same date, December 15, 2015, without any provision in the 2015 and 2016 Appropriation Bills. Orbih said though there was no single provision for capital projects in the university in the appropriation laws for 2015 and 2016, Governor Adams Oshomhole without advertisement for tenders’ for the jobs sat in his office and approved the release of the monies and even asked contractors for 35 percent kickbacks.
“The contracts did not follow due process, there was no bidding by any contractor, but the governor drew up a list, paid them for jobs not approved and collected 35 percent kickback. As a party we have a responsibility to Edo people to let them know that the government should be prudent with resources and follow the law on the award of contracts.
“We urge the House of Assembly to call the governor to order and explain the circumstances of his unbudgeted expenditure for a university that recorded no financial provision in two consecutive appropriation laws of the state.”
However, in his reaction to the issues raised by the PDP chairman, the Information Commissioner, Mr Kassim Afegbua, said the state government has repeatedly told Edo people that politicians like Orbih lack the basic understanding of governance and its dynamics.
“As a government that has exhibited a high sense of prudence in the management of state resources, whatever we embark on by way of projects are usually captured in our budget proposal. The State Executive Council approves contracts when they have met all the requirements of bidding in line with the Procurement Act. We do not behave like PDP chieftains who defrauded the nation and the state with reckless abandon without respect for due process.
“The budget is a public document which captures our general appropriation outlook for the 2016 fiscal year. If Orbih and his ilks do not understand how to interprete the budget, do you blame us? Advise them to go for a refresher course on how to analyse the budget instead of exposing ignorance”.
Meanwhile, Orbih flanked by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, a gubernatorial aspirant, and Dr Tony Aziegbemi, who were reportedly detained over N700 million camapign funds debunked insinuations that he was detained over the matter.
He said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, invited him and he went on his accord to their office in Port-
harcourt were he explained to them his role in the campaign funds saga including the fact that he did not know the source of the funds.
“All over the world political parties raise funds to finance election leaders in the state have been visiting EFCC cells in Port Harcourt and Abuja to account for what he called “the monumental plundering of the state and national resources in the name of campaigns”.
”He has lost touch with what obtains in decent society. The call for impeachment is laughable, ridiculous and outlandish. Does Orbih think Edo people are upstarts like him who do not understand those serving them and those plundering their resources?”
camapigns and former President Goodluck Jonathan organised a fund-raising ceremony that was well-attended and money was generously contributed to aid him in his presidential bid”.
Orbih said it was the judicious use of the money sent to the party in Edo State from the national headquarters of the PDP that helped it achieve the victory of two out of three senators in Edo and several House of Representatives seats in the National Assembly”.
On his part, Afegbua said PDP

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