By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP, Edo State chapter has called on the State House of Assembly to commence an immediate impeachment proceedings against the state governor, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, for spending unapproved funds not budgeted for running into over N18 billion for the execution of projects at the Edo University, Iyamho.
The party also called for the immediate resignation from office of the state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Gideon Obhakhan and the state Accountant General, Mr. Ehizuwa over the role they played in expending unapproved funds not budgeted for in the execution of projects in the University.
However, reacting to the allegations, Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Kassim Afegbua said, “We have repeatedly told Edo people that politicians like Dan Orbih lack basic understanding of governance and its dynamics. As government that has exhibited a high sense of prudence in the management of state resources, whatever we embark on by way of projects are usually captured in our budget proposal.”
Continuing, the party urged the duo to be prepared to face criminal legal action against them for the role they played in the spending of the unapproved funds.
State chairman of the party, Dan Orbih, who addressed newsmen in Benin, yesterday, said that the contracts were curiously awarded within seven days in December, 2015, adding that there was nothing to suggest that the House of Assembly approved the spending, as the award of contracts executed in the university did not follow due process because they were not advertised nor bidded for.
He listed some of the contracts to include N12.28 billion for the teaching hospital of the university awarded to A & K Construction Limited, construction of Senate building to Messers Sageto Limited for N2.5 billion, construction of faculty building given to Messers Sageto Limited at N983 million and 168-room male hostel awarded to A & K Construction Limited for N1.88 billion.
According to him, “In all these contracts that he was mobilizing contractors with over 35 percent of the total contract sum, all his approvals were not budgeted for in the 2015 budget of the state. There was no budgetary allocation for these contracts that he approved the release of funds to the various contractors.
“The contracts did not follow due process, they were never advertised, there were no competitive bidding and at a time that this country is going through a great economic recession, we must be prudent, ensure that we follow to the letter laid down laws and regulations concerning approvals and expending of public funds by government.
“We have gone through various documents from the government, there is nothing to show that the Edo State House of Assembly approved money for the execution of these projects, and there is nothing to show that the governor has extra powers to spend state resources without deference to the state House of Assembly.
“The governor has a case to answer. He cannot say that he is appropriating our money without the approval of the state House of Assembly. This is government funds and it must be spent judiciously.”
Orbih said that Governor Oshiomhole must explain to the Edo people the reason why the proposal for the conversion of the College of Education, Ekiadolor, to Tayo Akpata University of Education has not seen the light of the day despite the fact that the conversion was made at the same time the presented Edo University Iyamho was established.