The Edo State chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday said it had “observed with great concern the hurried approvals of huge contracts at the University of Science and Technology, Iyamho especially at the twilight of this administration”, and raised the alarm that the contracts did not pass through due process.
In a press conference addressed in Benin City by the state chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Osi Orbih, he exposed how the governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has signed and approved billions of naira worth of contracts without budgetary appropriations, or advertised bids as stipulated by law.
With copies of the Appropriation Acts, 2015 and 2016, Orbih established that the contracts, some of which are listed below were never in the budget and as such the awards and subsequent huge payments to the contractors is tantamount to executive rascality, executive arrogance and executive stealing.
He also alleged that one of the companies that huge sums of mobilization were paid to is the same company building the governor’s private house on a disputed plot of land on Okoro Otun, in the GRA area of Benin.
Prince Ekpen Erediauwa is engaged in a running battle with the governor over the rightful ownership of the land.
Orbih said: “It should be noted that the University of Science and Technology, Iyamho was established and signed into law same day as Tayo Akpata University of Education, Ekiadolor.
“With the events unfolding, it is obvious that was a Greek gift. There is no government presence in Ekiadolor even though it houses already existing infrastructure. PDP and Edo people demand equity in utilization of state resources and development.
List of contracts awarded:
1. Construction of Senate Building awarded to Messrs Sageto Limited at cost of =N= 2,505,582,486.38 and approved =N= 626,395,621.60 as mobilization on the 15th of December, 2015.
2. Construction of 168 rooms Male Students Hostel Complex to A&K construction limited for =N=1,880,483,836.66 on the 15th December, 2015 and mobilized with =N=470,120,959.16
3. Construction of Faculty Building awarded to Messrs Sageto Limited for =N=983,300,535.07 on 15th December, 2015 and mobilized with =N=245,825,133.77
A few days later, another contract was awarded for the construction of Edo State Teaching Hospital at the University of Science and Technology Iyamho for =N=12,282,852,413.69 to A&K Construction Limited. A&K were initially mobilized with =N=3,070,713,103.42 and an additional mobilization of =N=1,228,285,241.36 approved on 23rd December, 2015. For this approval, the money was sourced from the approved budget for the new emergency ward at specialist hospital, Benin City.
In almost all the contracts awarded at the university, established due process for award of contracts was not followed. This government is gradually establishing a culture of fraudulent award of contracts in the state without due process. It is obvious that impunity and total disregard for the constitution has crept into the running of Edo State and the governor, Adams Oshiomhole, is sitting atop this cesspool of corruption.
In a related scam, another interesting contract was awarded for the supply and installation of medical equipment at the specialist hospital for the sum of =N=1,878,455,343.71 to Messrs Vamed Engineering Ltd. The Governor approved =N=1,408,841,507.78 representing 75% of the contract sum as mobilization on the 14th January, 2016. The Budget for 2016 was passed in February, 2016.