July 15, 2024

APC Accuses Obaseki Of Conspiring With PDP Candidate To Siphon Edo Resources

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APC Accuses Obaseki Of Conspiring With PDP Candidate To Siphon Edo Resources
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By Simeon OSAJIE

Edo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the Executive Governor of the State for allegedly conniving with top government officials including the Secretary to Edo State Government, Barr. Osarodion Ogie who is also the deputy governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Barr. Osarodion Ogie and Barr. Asue Ighodalo the governorship candidate of PDP to siphon Edo State for her resources.

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The9JaTREND reports that Emperor Jarret Tenebe, Edo APC Party Chairman, disclosed today, 29th June, 2024 while addressing newsmen in Benin City, the state capital.

Addressing a press conference at the party’s Secretariat, the Acting State Chairman of APC, Emperor Jarret Tenebe alleged that the party is in receipt of an invitation letter No. CR: 3000/EFCC/ABJ/HQ/SOT/VOL. 2/2024 dated 19th April, 2024 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to Edo State Commissioner of Finance, and the response by the Secretary to State Government and PDP Governorship running mate, via his letter of May 7, 2024 with Ref. SGA. 440/T3/82.

Emperor Tenebe who urged the EFCC to follow up their investigation to prosecute and recover the agriculture and other sundry loans diverted by this present administration, alleged that two projects that were designed by Governor Obaseki and supervised by his political godson, Asue Ighodalo through his law firm of Banwo and Ighodalo, and Obaseki’s Afrinvest, said that a systematic pattern of contract splitting and variation was deployed by ministry of finance to drain off the state’s resources.

But the State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Chris Nehikhare dismissed the allegations saying that the APC and its leadership do not know how government works and that they should tell the people what they intend to do.

According to Tenebe, “On August 30, 2023, Governor Obaseki announced to the world that he was building Radisson hotel at a total contract sum of N19.6bn. The contract was awarded on August 23, 2023 to Shapoorji Pallonji Nigeria Limited for N15,397,368,022.49 (Fifteen Billion, Three Hundred and Ninety Seven Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Eight Thousand, Twenty Two Naira, Forty Nine Kobo).

“Today, the project has ballooned to N23b and with further sub-contracts of N2.1b (for supply of, installation and commission of MEP/HVAC (Mechanical Works) Equipment); N1.6b for supply and installation of Kitchen and Laundry Equipment; and N703m for installation of Aluminium Glazing Works and Alucobond Cladding awarded to All Facave Limited. These additional contracts for the same Radisson hotel were awarded on the same day, June 1, 2023.

“It is vital to point out that the hotel complex itself, before the taking over by the Edo State Government was already 85% completed, yet, over N28b are being filtered away by a government that has failed to build a single hospital in 8 years.”

Going further, he added: “Governor Obaseki’s company, Afrinvest raises capital for projects at a Management Fee and Commission, in the name of Edo State and the loans on Edo State.

“Afrinvest also provide Business Advisory and Project Finance at inflated fees.

“Greenfield Consultancy owned by close associate of Governor Obaseki has been the one handling all Civil Service Reforms at outrageous fees. The Civil Servants are privately grumbling and are volunteering information on this unholy scheme. The Press is therefore encouraged to approach them for records of Greenfield Consultancy.

“The latest plan by Governor Obaseki to make the activities of his administration paperless is a criminal plan that has been designed by one ‘Ugo’ who is in charge of e-governance who has concluded with the governor to destroy all documents relating to fraudulent contracts with the excuse that Edo Government has gone paperless. ‘Ugo’ has been instructed to delete the server containing sensitive documents when the PDP loses the election on September 21, 2024. We hereby warn Governor Obaseki and the head of e-governance, ‘Ugo’ not to delete the approvals of contracts on e-gov.,” Tenebe said.

The APC statement further urged the EFCC to immediately begin the investigation of the Law Firm of Banwo and Ighodalo as it connects to the treasury of Edo State Government, relating to several legal advisory services the PDP candidate received huge sums of money for services not provided.

The State is happy with steps taken in relation to the Investigation of the Central Bank Interventions that were squandered by Governor Obaseki. We are in receipt of an invitation letter No. CR: 3000/EFCC/ABJ/HQ/SOT/VOL. 2/2024 dated 19th April, 2024 of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to Edo State Commissioner of Finance, and the response by the Secretary to State Government and PDP Governorship running mate, via his letter of May 7, 2024 with Ref. SGA. 440/T3/82.

Reacting to the allegations levelled against Edo State Government, Chris Nehikhare said, “It is unfortunate that we still have people heading political parties without an idea of how the government is run and they believe in sensationalism. They cannot offer any policy statement or directions for a government they are trying to form instead they are chasing shadows, making allegations that are spurious and frivolous.

“We are not going to dignify them with our response but to tell Edo people to ask these APC leadership their plans for Edo State.

“That is all we asked. We need to hear their plans for Edo State, how they plan to offer a better state than we have done here in PDP.

“How are they going to sustain the progress we made or if they have a better plan, let them come out and articulate it”, Nehikhare said.

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