By Ehi Ekhator
Two Edo State based groups, The Achievers and the Talakawa’s Parliament have written to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), listing 21 financial offences committed by the outgoing governor, Adams Oshiomhole.
The group said, according to the document made available to NAIJA CENTER NEWS, Oshiomhole had diverted to his personal accounts, monies including security votes meant for the development of the state.
This was signed by the groups chairmen, Biship (Dr.) Osadolor Ochei, JP and Maxist Kola Edokpayi in a nine page document sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The Edo group wondered why the EFCC have refused to investigate the governor despite acknowledging an earlier petition against him.
Below is the full detail:
GROUP OF CONCERNED EDO NGOs AND STAKEHOLDERS
October 28, 2016
Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC)
Federal Capital Territory
A CALL TO INVESTIGATE THE SERIAL CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS AGAINST GOVERNOR ADAMS ALIU OSHIOMHOLE
WE like to begin this petition with the assurances of our unalloyed support for President Mohammadu Buhari, GCON, and Commander in chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, in his current fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Comrade Adams AliuOshiomhole has presided over Edo State as the Executive Governor since November 12, 2008, and his stewardship has been largely pretentious (more of propaganda than development). According to the Debt Management Office, Edo State is the third highest indebted state in Nigeria and from the documents (vouchers) at our disposal, significant part of the borrowed funds were diverted by Oshiomhole to his private use and those of his cronies. Adams Oshiuomhole has in his eight years rule of Edo state plundered the resources of the state and diverted billions of state revenue to his personal account using proxy’s bogus inflated contracts and diversion of security votes. We hope you would do our petition, justice by adequately investigating the following corruption allegations that the people have leveled against the outgoing Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole. Although we have been told that Oshiomhole is under special protection from your agency because of his membership of the ruling All progressives Congress (APC), we appeal to you to prove your cynics wrong by doing justice to this patriotic petition.
THE CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS:
- OSHIOMHOLE’S COUNTRY HOME IN IYAMHO
On April 5, 2012, the EFCC acknowledgedthe receipt of a petition titled: “A call to investigate Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole’s Multi Billion naira Mansion in Iyamho, Edo State” which was signed by Matthew Edeghase Esq. (The EFCC’s acknowledged copy is annexed to this petition).
In addition to the said earlier petition, we further add that the cost of the controversial mansion, that was designed and constructed by Verissimo (a South African Architect), is valued to be about N10billion. As earlier reported by THE WILL NEWSPAPER, the sprawling mansion has swimming pools, water fountains, multiple theaters for cinema and live performances; huge event halls, bridges, manmade lakes, lodges of different sizes amongst others. Recent aerial photographs revealed that he has also constructed a Helipad within the vast estate. The size and scope of the mansion, completely negates all possible explanations for the source of Oshiomhole’s fund, which he had used for the construction.
- OSHIOMHOLE’S PROPERTY AT OKORO-OTUN AVENUE, GRA BENIN CITY
In 2014, Governor Oshiomhole paid N23million via an Access Bank Cheque to Edo State Government for a parcel of land he claimed to have seized from the Federal Government at Okoro Otun Avenue, GRA Benin City. Presently, Oshiomhole is erecting a multiple floors Saddam Hussein’s style bunker on the land.
We hold strong view that the allocation of Edo State Government land in Okoro Otun Avenue by Oshiomhole to himself amounts to insider’s deal, which is a violation of the Oath of Office he subscribed to as Governor. The N23million that Oshiomhole paid for the Okoro Otun land is certainly not from his salary that is about Six Hundred Thousand Naira per month. The contractor constructing his new home also got the contract for the construction of the controversial ‘new Central Hospital’
- THE FORMER GUINNESS BUILDING ON RESERVATION ROAD, GRA, BENIN CITY
Our investigation shows that Oshiomhole bought the Guinness Guest House located along Reservation Road, GRA Benin City soon after he was sworn in as governor in 2009. The property was quickly converted to the office of HANI and ASSOCIATES, the consultancy firm that has supervised all Civil Construction works in Edo State, since 2008. We are reliably informed that Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole bought the building for over N100million.
- CONSTRUCTION OF HOTEL ON GOLF COURSE ROAD IN GRA BENIN CITY
A ship-like building is currently under construction along Golf Course Road, next door to Benin Club. Mr. Hamed Useni, the Managing Director of Hani and Associate, Oshiomhole’s business associate is allegedly fronting as owner. It will interest the chairman to note that this company is the sole consultancy firm for all civil works in Edo State for which he charges over 10% of all contracts.
- OSHIOMHOLE’S NEW ABUJA MANSION
Apart from his current residence, which he built with his campaign funds in 2007, and the new Okoro Otun house, Oshiomhole is currently constructing another mansion in Abuja where he has planned to move to after handing over on November 12 this year.
- EWOHIMI GENERAL HOSPITAL PROJECT
Construction of Ewohimi General Hospital in Edo Central has gulped over an additional N200million through the bogus practice of ‘virement’. Oshiomhole’s Brother In-law, MR. VICTOR EBOIGBE, allegedly coordinated the hospital project. His company was also reported in the press to have supplied Dando Water Drilling Rigs and Two Street Sweepers to Edo State Government for inflated contract sums of N800million and N356million respectively.
- CONSTRUCTION OF HOSTEL BLOCK AT N10M PER ROOM AT IYAMHO UNIVERSITY
Governor Oshiomhole awarded the contract and the payment in a week for the construction of 168 Hotel Rooms in Edo University Iyamho at the sum of N1.680billion (One Billion, Six Hundred and Eighty Million Naira). The average cost per room translates to N10million (Ten Million Naira) per hostel room. The firm, A & K Construction Limited was also awarded additional contract worth N12,282,852,413.69 (Twelve Billion, Two Hundred and Eighty Two Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirteen Naira, Sixty Kobo) to construct Edo State Teaching Hospital at the University of Science and Technology, Uzairue, Edo State (Iyamho University).
- THE N31BILLION STORM WATER PROJECT
On April 11, 2011, Governor Adams Oshiomhole went ahead to borrow N25billion from the Capital Market through the issuance of Bond. While presenting an FCMB Cheque of N6billion to the Mr. Saad, Managing Director of Hitech Construction on March 2, 2011, Oshiomhole listed several roads as part of the First Phase of the Storm Water Project to include Adolor College Road, Textile Mile Road, Otote Road, Uwelu Road, Akugbe Street, Iyoba areas among others. These roads are still earth roads today; just the Storm Water Project had been abandoned by Hitech and the gullies they left has killed over six persons, including children.
We are also aware that when Adams Oshiomhole went to the capital market to borrow 25billion facilitated by Godwin Obaseki’s Afrivest company, the purpose of the loan was not just the storm water project but also included a power project. The Azural Power Project has since started in Edo state but without the government being a major investor apart from the paltry shares given to it by the promoters as compensation for the land acquired. Curiously Philip Ihenacho the original founder of Afrivnest, the same company Godwin Obaseki, Oshiuomhole’s close ally owns, is a major investor in the Azura Power Project. Edo people believes that they have been shortchanged in this Azura Holdings, and what should have been Edo State shares have been allocated to private individuals holding brief for those who have abused the people’s trust.
- ROADS, DRAINS AND BRIDGES
The flagship of road construction, re-construction and rehabilitation projects done by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole is the six-lane Airport Road Benin City. The contract was originally awarded to Servetek Construction Company Limited as one for the “construction of drainage structures and dualization of Airport Road from Ring Road to Ogba River Bridge (a distance of 7.2Km of road and 14.4Km of drainage” at an industry record-setting N611million per kilometre (totaling N4,401,101,722.50).
In a fit of anger over Servetek’s reluctance to allow any further tampering with the contractual sum, the contract was truncated and re-awarded at over N12 billion to Setraco Nigeria Limited. It is instructive to note that the state government ingeniously, padded the original contract description with “17 access roads” that ran parallel to Airport Road whereas these roads (access and internal roads such as the Shittu Alao Airforce Base, Oko-Ogba for instance), were re-awarded as stand-alone ones, with new cost tags.
This organized rape of Edo State Treasury was replicated in the award and execution of the over-100 intra and inter-city road projects that were turned into veritable Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). One of such roads is Sapele Raod, awarded to Setraco for N 1,429,446,044.25 for a length of 2.1km. Even the “detailed design of storm water drainage and associated roads master plan for Benin City, was awarded to a South African Firm for a whopping sum of N 446,969,250.02. The pattern of sleaze ran through all the contracts he awarded and financed through suffocating portfolio of debts that future generations of Edolites will inherit and pay. Setraco and Hartland Nig Ltd both companies chaired by Abu Inu Umoru, a close associate of Adams Oshiomhole are the major beneficiaries of inflated road contracts in Edo State.
- ACCIDENT AND EMERGENCY/200 BED CENTRAL HOSPITAL & IYAMHO COUNTRY HOME PROJECTS
An initial contract was awarded to an Italian company, for the sum of N2.7billion before it was reviewed upwards to over N3billion when Governor Oshiomhole demanded for an extra floor; a process that made a large part of the construction, within the premises of the Central Hospital, Benin City, to collapse on June 4, 2012. Many workers were injured with a lone casualty, Dr Stefano De La Roca, the owner of the company and confidant of Adams Oshiomhole. The contract was later reawarded to SCL without penalizing those responsible for the building collapse. The cost of the reconstruction is a closely guided secret.
What many did not know at the period was that SCI was also the contractor handling Oshiomhole’s multi-billion naira sprawling palatial complex at Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area. The umbilical cord or nexus between the medical complex projects in Benin City and the astonishing Mobutu Sese Seko country home project of the Comrade Governor is far more than a coincidence as SCI was the main contractor for both sites and most, if not all, of the construction materials and workers shared a common pool.
- $225MILLION WORLD BANK LOAN AND EDO STATE OPEN GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE
In 2012, Edo State Government received $75million as first tranche of $225million loan from the World Bank under the first Edo State Growth and Employment Support Credit Project (With the Project Identification Number P123353). Till date, Government is unable to account for the initial $75million and another $75million that was approved by the World Bank in 2015, despite massive protests by Edo people and Senators from the state.
We are informed that the unsubstantiated contracts that were tied to the loan led to the resignation of Ms Yemi Keri who was the Managing Director of the Information Communication Technology office in the Governor’s office. The computerization of government activities by the Directorate of ICT in the Governor’s Office was used to siphon resources from the state. The second tranche of $75 million which was domiciled at Access Bank has largely been transferred to off shore accounts while the remaining was round-triped at the detriment of Edo state.
- EDO STATE GOVERNMENT AND THE BANK OF INDUSTRY COUNTERPART FUND SCHEME
In December 2009, Edo State Government signed an agreement with the Bank of Industry to support Small Scale Industries with N500million; made up of N250million from the state and N250million from the Bank of Industry. According to Edo State Government records, only N41.6million was reportedly disbursed. However, credible sources informed us that the balance of N458.5million (approximately) has vanished into private pockets.
- THE N950MILLION CONTRACT FOR THE BEAUTIFICATION OF 5-JUNCTION IN USELU
The sum of N950million was approved by the exco as cost for the beautification project, which is merely planting of flowers.
- SAPELE ROAD N600MILLION STREETLIGHT CONTRACT
In 2012, Governor Oshiomhole awarded the contract for erection of streetlights from 3rd Junction (Sapele Road) to Country Home Road Junction (Sapele Road), a distance of less than two kilometres for N600million.Sadly, this work was never executed.
- CONVERSION OF EDO UNIVERSITY TO PRIVATELY OWNED INSTITUTION
Oshiomhole has spent over N30billion of state funds on infrastructure in the Edo University he built opposite his country home in Iyamho, which documents have revealed is a privately owned university by private partners, fronting for the governor.
- 172BILLION CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY WAIVER/DANGOTE CEMENT SHARES
On June 1st, 2013, Governor Oshiomhole granted Alhaji Aliko Dangote a staggering N1,089,530,370.00 (One Billion, Eighty Nine Million, Five Hundred and Thirty Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy Naira) waiver for a Certificate of Occupancy. Also on the same day, another waiver of N81,763,200.00 (Eighty One Million, Seven Hundred and Sixty Three thousand, Two Hundred Naira) to Alhaji Dangote, all for the land allocated to the billionaire for a proposed Dangote Fertilizer Factory at Agenebode in Etsako East Local Government Area. The so called factory never saw the light of the day.
- SUPPLY OF SCHOOL DESKS AND CHAIRS
The State Government, through the Ministry of Education awarded a contract in November 2009, worth N1,547,910,000.00 (One Billion, Five Hundred and Forty-Seven Million, Nine Hundred and Ten Thousand Naira only), to Itex Furniture Limited of Plot 512, Cadastral Zone C16, Idu Industrial District, FCT, Abuja, for the supply of 35,000 units of single seaters (chairs and desks) and 40,000 units of double seaters (chairs and desks) to all public schools in Edo State.
The contract was purportedly “completed” and a completion certificate issued for full payment for a job, which only a middle-level staff of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) inspected at the Abuja factory of Itex Furniture Limited in 2011 (two years after the contract was awarded). Due diligence was not made to verify whether the advance payment guarantee/performance bond provided by Itex were ever authenticated or the quality and quantity of 75,000 units verified too, before the full payment for this supply of this school furniture in 2012.
On Friday, April 4, 2014 (two years after the purported supply of 75,000 units by Itex Furniture Limited), the state‘s Ministry of Education placed an advert on page 16 of the Vanguard newspaper, requesting for bids, for among others the “construction and supply of schools desks and chairs for all Schools in Edo state”.
Sources in the Ministry averred that the advert was a mere window-dressing as the advertised contract had been awarded to the same Itex Furniture! No due diligence was made to find out whether the initial 75,000 units were manufactured and supplied. The contracts eventually snowballed into paid advertorial contest between ITEX and the state government. Most schools in Edo State have no chairs and desk.
It is instructive to state here that the pioneer chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) under Oshiomhole’s administration Sir Emoabino and a former Secretary to the State Government to Gov Adams Oshiomhole, Dr Imuokheme, were arrested and tried by EFCC for fraud totaling N300million. The Subeb contractors were criminally directed to pay part of their payments proceeds to Oshiomhole’s campaign account in 2011.
- DIVERSION OF SECURITY VOTES TO PROXY ACCOUNTS
We invite the EFCC to as a matter of urgency to investigate the use of security votes by Oshiomhole as records shows that over N500million received by him monthly, was diverted to proxy accounts. We have on copies of payment vouchers duly approved by Governor Adams and cash collected by one Chief M.A. Kadiri for money totaling over N42billion since Adams Oshiomhole became governor in 2008. For the month of December 2014 alone, Governor Oshiomhole approved N700million and Chief M.A. Kadiri was on hand to collect it. These huge sums have continually and consistently been removed with the heading “urgent security challenges” each month.
- PLUNDERING OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACCOUNT
Governor Adams Oshiomhole administration took advantage of the Joint State/Local Government Account to appropriate and misappropriate the monthly allocations that has accrued to the 18 local councils to the disadvantages of the chairmen and people of the local government.
The hapless and helpless chairmen cannot complain openly because their “election’ or appointment and tenure are at the mercy and discretion of the Comrade Governor. The irony of this prevailing arrangement is that the local government council chairmen are cajoled to take responsibility for the expenditures they never made, in the first place; like the purchase of inflated SUVs. The Commissioner for Finance and that of Local Government deducts their accounts at source.
This sort of irresponsible and unnecessary expenditure, which is prevalent in the administration of the local government councils in Edo State, led to the inability of councils to pay the salaries of their staff until the bailout offered by the Federal Government. It will interest you to know that the 18 local government areas in Edo State have in the last 6 years received over N212billion as statutory allocation. We believe these breaches deserve investigation.
- OFFSHORE PROPERTIES (USA, SOUTH AFRICA, LONDON DUBAI
With the benefit of the Global fight against corruption, the EFCC should investigate allegations of Oshiomhole’s acquisition of properties in the United States of America; which are located in Miami, Florida and in Louisiana (where his first son, Dr. Cyril Oshiomhole stays); as well as a luxurious apartment valued at One Hundred Million Dollars at Peachtree Corners (Miami) FL; acquisition of the Penthouse of One and Only Hotel in Cape Town South Africa, as well as apartments in Dubai, and London (UK).
- SUPPLY OF INFLATED VEHICLES BY SATA MOTORS LIMITED
Hon. Gani Audu is a former Personal Assistant to Governor Adams Oshiomhole and also the chairman of Sata Motors Limited, the company responsible for the supply of vehicles to Edo State Government at overinflated cost. The financial transaction between the state government and Sata Motors falls short of Due Process requirements, which include advertisement for tenders and competitive bids. Concerned stakeholders, including civil servants at the Ministry of Finance have kicked against the abandonment of the State Procurement Act in all transactions with Sata Motors Limited.
- CRIMINAL INFLATION OF CONTRACTS & ABUSE OF DUE PROCESS BY OSHIOMHOLE
The cost for road construction contracts in Edo State is incomparable to any other states in Nigeria and this is due to the preference of Governor Adams Oshiomhole for ‘SELECTED BIDDING’ as against ‘OPEN TENDER’ system, which ensures the best pricing through competitive bidding.
Throughout Oshiomhole’s tenure, over 80% of contracts that were awarded were never advertised, and in the same vein, the costs are usually increased before their completion. The scheme, used is called ‘VIREMENT’, and this allows the governor to approve new contract as additional work to the tune of N99million without advertising such contract or seek the approval of the State Executive Council.
Also, Oshiomhole engaged in ‘Contract Splitting’ – where contract for roads are awarded along with road furniture, but furniture such as street lighting, walkways, drainage are later re-awarded to the same contractor.
Edo State today is completely broke as a result of Oshiomhole’s greed and recklessness and rather than show remorse or hide his head in shame, the out going governor is planning to invite President Buhari on a State visit on 7th and 8th November to commission many so called legacy projects which were constructed by his cronies at a cost not disclosed to Edo people . We appeal to the president to rebuff the obvious attempt to use his presence to launder dubious projects and advise Oshiomhole to give detailed account of his stewardship to Edo people rather than grandstanding.
In our opinion, it is better to prevent corruption than to fight it!
Documents obtained by NAIJA CENTER NEWS: