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Obaseki, Oshiomhole face-off get messier after judicial Panel report

By Monsuru Olowoopejo

The face-off between Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole, the current National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), further degenerated with a Judicial Commission of Inquiry setup by Obaseki indicting the Oshiomhole for breach of the state’s Public Procurement Law.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Justice James Oyomire (retd), was inaugurated by Obaseki to unravel the misery surrounding construction of the Edo Specialist Hospital and supply of equipment for the hospital.

Obaseki, while receiving the report of the committee at Government House, in Benin City, yesterday, assured that anyone found culpable, no matter how highly-placed, would be called to account for their action.

The governor said: “We have been putting the right measures in place and if there are resources of government that need to be returned, we will not hesitate to ask for it.

“Since I came into office, you cannot find this type of breach you have mentioned. If people have to face prosecution, whether civil or criminal, they will have to be prosecuted.

Earlier, Oyomire, who presented the report to Obaseki, said the award of the contract for the construction of the hospital was fraught with breaches of the state’s procurement laws.

According to him, the law clearly states that any contractor working on a government project should not receive more than 25 percent upfront payment upon contract award, which Oshiomhole’s administration contravened.

“The immediate past administration paid 75 percent of the contract sum upfront for the project to Vamed Engineering”.

He added that part of the commission’s 8-point recommendation includes that the Ministry of Justice should institute civil and criminal actions against those found culpable in the breach of the law.

The recommendations, according to him, also include the strengthening of the state’s public procurement agency and ensuring strict adherence to the provision of the agency’s law on award of contract.

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