Alleged fraud: Afegbua defends Oshiomhole, indicts Obaseki

Alleged fraud: Afegbua defends Oshiomhole, indicts Obaseki

- Governor Godwin Obaseki has been indicted in the alleged breaching of Edo state public procurement law

- A former commissioner in Edo state under the Oshiomhole administration, Kassim Afegbua, said Obaseki was part of the process

- Obaseki is probing the upfront payment of 75% for the construction of the Edo Specialist Hospital

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A former commissioner in Edo state under the Oshiomhole administration, Kassim Afegbua, has defended the former governor’s actions in regards to the upfront payment of 75% for the construction of the Edo Specialist Hospital.

Oshiomhole had come under fire for allegedly breaching the state’s Public Procurement Law as governor, which states that any contractor working on a government project should not receive more than 25% upfront payment upon the award of a contract.

Alleged fraud: Afegbua defends Oshiomhole, indicts Obaseki

Oshiomhole's administration is under probe from his successor, Godwin Obaseki. Photo credit: APC
Source: Depositphotos

But according to Afegbua, the 75% upfront payment was done in view of the fact that the equipment are state of the art items, “so that the company would not default in terms of manufacturing them.”

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“These are not items you can buy across the counter. They are items that have to be manufactured to suit specifications,” he said on Wednesday, May 20 during an interview on Channels TV.

Afegbua further explained that Section 47 of the procurement law, however, contains some exceptions.

“So what we did as an EXCO, a body for which Governor Obaseki was part and parcel, was not out of place,” he said.

His comments were in response to allegations by Andrew Emwanta, an aide to Governor Godwin Obaseki, against the Oshiomhole administration.

Emwanta had stated that not only was the payment of the 75% a breach of the law, but no equipment was actually delivered.

Speaking further, he alleged that when President Muhammadu Buhari came to commission the hospital towards the end of Oshiomhole’s government, the equipment in the hospital were all hired from Lagos.

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After the commissioning, according to him, the equipment were returned and the hospital was placed under lock and key.

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Recall that the Edo state government recently received a report of the judicial commission of inquiry into the construction of the Edo Specialist Hospital and supply of its equipment.

The report indicted the administration of Oshiomhole for breach of the state’s Public Procurement Law.

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