The lid has been removed from the legion of alleged fraud that was pepertuated by the administration of Mr. Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole.
It will be recalled that Edo State Government last year uncovered the massive fraud that characterised the construction and equipping of the Specialist Hospital in Benin City. It was reported then, that Oshiomhole awarded the supply of over 6Billion Naira to his alleged long time mistress who failed to executive the contract after collecting one hundred percent of the contract sum.
Earlier today, February 22, 2021, Governor Godwin Obaseki, revealed that the N30 billion Benin stormwater project by the previous administration in the state was a ploy to defraud Edo people.
The governor made the submission while inspecting the Textile Mill Road catchment of the project, in Benin City.
He said the stormwater project, which was conceived by the previous administration, was designed not to work for the benefit of Edo people, adding that his administration will probe the project and recover all the money stolen through it.
“You can see for yourself that the so-called stormwater project was a fraud; it was a contract to defraud Edo people. From what I can see now, the stormwater project in this catchment area was never designed to take water away from the area. The area was never drained. You can see the level of what we are doing now as compared with that of the previous administration,” he said.
Obaseki noted, “It is almost two-meter difference. There is no way you can drain water from a low land into a higher ground. We say we have experts and paid over N30 billion for this project. The person that supervised this project today calls himself a minister supervising bigger projects for the Federal Government. This is not acceptable.”
He added that the previous administration spent huge sums of money on the water storm project claiming that on completion, it will drain water from the area and restore the property of Edo people living in that area.
He assured Edo people that his administration will do everything necessary to drain the area and restore life to the people, noting, “They spent N30 billion claiming that they want to take away the suffering of Edo people, de-flood the area and restore value to the people’s property. Look at what has happened now to this project for five years.”
He continued: “With what we have done now with less amount of money, we are going to finally drain this area and bring back life to the people in this catchment area. I don’t like probing but this time we have to set up a panel to get the facts of what happened.
We can’t throw away such a large amount of money. People must be made to account for their time in service in government.
“They have to explain to us how they spent the N30 billion on a project they claim will drain water from a community. But the project drains the water to nowhere.
They have the boldness to claim that we abandoned the project which were never made or designed to work in the first place.
“Clearly, we will take the necessary precaution to recover all the money due to Edo people that was stolen from this project.”
However, the governor’s revelation is raising dust and agitation, with some complaining about the leeway he has given to the former governor and his Commissioner of Environment, Mr. Clem Agba, now junior Minister of Budget and National Planning.
A visibly angry senior citizen told Midwest Herald that, “the last time we heard the same outburst about the Specialist hospital, probe was set up and report submitted. What came out of it?
” If the governor knows he is not ready to take firm action against Adams Oshiomole, let him save us the headache of threats.
” How long does it take to look into these issues?”
During his recent visit to the palace of Oba Ewuare II, Agba had pleaded with the Oba of Benin, His Royal Majesty, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo to request the Edo State Government to give attention to the continuation of the Benin Storm Water Master Plan.
Specifically, Agba claimed that the “… N30 Billion represent money expended on the Uwelu East and West Water Storm project in the masterplan.
“The scope of Work including the construction of 9 roads one of which is a 7 Kilometer dual carriageway, all 9 roads with Street lights, walkways, sude drains and 7.5 Kilometers of diubke cell 3 meters by 3 meters underground primary drain and 7.9 kilometers of open trapeziadal drains.”
Curiously, while defending how the whopping amount was spent, the former Commissioner for Environment said the N30 Billion Uwelu East and West Storm Water project was 70% complete at the time he left office with Oshiomhole.
He added that “…five other Storm Water Projects within it had been 100% completed. These are the popular 5 Junction, Upper Lawani street, Constain road, Airport Road, Second East Circular and the New Lagos road catchment area.”
The latest findings by Edo State government and a possible judicial panal may present Oshiomhole and Agba the opportunity to defend the obvious waste in the face of challenging erosion problem in Benin City and environs.