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N300bn road contract: Senate indicts PDP cheiftains

By Emmanuel Aziken

ABUJA—The Senate will tomorrow receive a report of its investigations into the alleged misuse of more than N300 billion by the Obasanjo administration in the construction and rehabilitation of federal roads between 1999 and 2007.

The report according to Senate sources indicted a leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who served the Obasanjo administration as a Minister of Works 1999 and 2007.

Enthusiasm for the report was at feverish pitch in the Senate yesterday as the Senate stepped down an already scheduled motion on the deplorable condition of federal roads in Akwa Ibom State.

The motion sponsored by Senator Effiong Bob Vanguard gathered was stepped down so as not to water down the report of the ad-hoc committee which investigated the state of all federal roads during the Obasanjo era.

The Senate investigations of the alleged utilization of more than N300 billion during the Obasanjo administration was upon a motion moved by Senator Ayogu Eze.

An inkling to the  indictment of the PDP leader was conveyed by several Senators yesterday after the Senate stepped down Bob’s motion which the Senate had last week unanimously resolved to take yesterday.
Sources in the Senate ad-hoc committee also explained yesterday why the report indicted the leader.

“You know the Senate gave us a mandate and it was that nobody should be spared no matter how high,’’ one source in the ad-hoc committee told Vanguard yesterday on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to officially disclose the direction of the report which is yet to be debated.

Yesterday, once Senator Bob was called to raise his motion Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, the chairman of the ad-hoc committee raised a point of order to oppose Senator Bob, saying the thrust of the motion was part of the mandate of his committee. He said the report of his ad-hoc committee would be submitted tomorrow.

Vanguard gathered that the political current underlying the determination of many Senators to adopt the Lokpobiri report is the indictment of the PDP national leader over his stewardship while a Minister.

The former Minister and  influential politician was alleged to have fought albeit aimlessly to frustrate the election of the present Senate leadership.

Giving an indication of the inclination of the report, Senate spokesman Senator Ayogu Eze at the end of the session urged journalists and Nigerians to move above sentiments and pursue the issues that would be thrown up when the report is presented.

“It is a very detailed and cumbersome report and when we present that report, it will be clear to every Nigerian that we have been able to touch on the heart of what is the problems with the road infrastructure in the country. It had to take that long for the job to be thorough and to be well and luckily we have finished the work and we will lay it tomorrow,’’ Senator Eze said yesterday.


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