The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced investigation over alleged inflated contracts and diversion of billions of naira of the state revenue by the immediate past governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. A senior operative of the anti-graft agency told our correspondent in Abuja that the investigation of Oshiomhole is predicated on the petition written by Dr. Osadolor Ochei and Comrade Kola Edokpayi, and received by the agency on November 4.
According to the source, “The petition will be properly and thoroughly investigated; nobody is under special protection from anybody or our agency because of his membership of the ruling All progressives Congress (APC) or not. We will prove some cynics wrong by doing justice to this petition.’’ Oshiomhole is being accused of using the state fund to build a multi-billion naira mansion in Iyamho, Edo State that was designed and constructed by Verissimo (a South African Architect) and valued to be about N10billion.
According to the petition, “As earlier reported by some newspapers, the sprawling mansion has swimming pools, water fountains, multiple theatres 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 is also being accused of paying N23million via a bank to Edo State Government in 2014 for a parcel of land he claimed to have seized from the federal government in Okoro Otun Avenue, GRA Benin City, saying that he is presently 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 group added. “The N23million that Oshiomhole paid for the Okoro Otun land is certainly not from his salary that is about N600,000 per month. The contractor constructing his new home also got the contract for the construction of the controversial new Central Hospital. ‘’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. We are reliably informed that Governor Adams Aliu Oshiomhole bought the building for over N100million.’’
The petitioners further alleged that a ship-like building is currently under construction along Golf Course Road, nextDOOR to Benin Club, apart from his current residence, which he allegedly built with his campaign funds in 2007, and the new Okoro Otun house. Oshiomhole is also said to be currently constructing another mansion in Abuja where he has planned to move to after handing over on November 12 this year. Oshiomhole is also being accused of inflating the contract for the construction of Ewohimi General Hospital in Edo Central, which has gulped over an additional N200million through the bogus practice of ‘virement.’
The petitioners added, “Governor Oshiomhole also 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. The average cost per room translates to N10million perHOSTEL ROOM. “The firm, A & K Construction Limited was also awarded additional contract worth N12,282,852,413.69 to construct Edo State Teaching Hospital at the University of Science and Technology, Uzairue, Edo State (Iyamho University).
“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 as 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.