News

June 19, 2024

PDP accuses Abia Govt of lack of due process in contract awards

Labour Party stakeholders pass vote of confidence on Gov. Otti

Governor Alex Otti

By Ugochukwu Alaribe

UMUAHIA- The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abia state chapter, has accused the Abia state government of a lack of due process and transparency in the award of contracts in the state.

The party stated this while reacting to the current spat between the Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Emmanuel Emeruwa and the Innoson Motor Company over the non-supply of vehicles allegedly paid for by Gov. Alex Otti for members of the State Assembly.

The PDP, in a statement by its Acting State Publicity Secretary, Elder Abraham Amah, noted that the spat between the speaker and the company reveals a lack of due process and transparency in the conduct of government business by the Otti administration.

The party stated that it shameful that the speaker had relied on oral evidence from the Governor who told him that he had made payments for the vehicles,only to have the motor company deny any payment for the vehicles from the Governor.

The statement read;”The revelation made by Innoson Motors that it has not received any payment from the Abia State government shows a total and embarrassing disconnect between the roles and actions of the operators of the Abia government. The Speaker had said repeatedly that the Governor had told him that he had made payments for the vehicles to Innoson Motors.

“The Abia PDP is concerned that this situation assaults the concept of separation of powers and debases our democracy. In the first place, it is an infringement on the independence of the legislature that the governor should be the one to award contracts for the purchase of vehicles for legislators. As a separate arm of government, the Assembly should be the one to award the contract for its vehicles, its budget should be on the first line charge to enable it maintain its independence.

“This unconventional situation brings the legislators under the influence of the Governor and it is difficult to see how they can maintain their independence if they have to depend on him for their welfare.

“What is even more shocking is that the Speaker had relied on oral evidence from the governor who told him that he had made payments for the vehicles and unfortunately, the company, not the Abia PDP, refuted the governor’s claims. That shows that the award did not pass through the due procurement process. What is more unfortunate is that the governor’s penchant for giving out wrong information to the public, is also on full display within the highest echelon of the operators of this government.

“If the governor cannot give the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, who is the number three person in the government hierarchy, the correct information in a financial matter as little as purchase of vehicles, we cannot imagine how the Governor would give ordinary Abians correct information on other matters. And every Abian is a witness to the constant misinformation the governor wilfully dishes out all the time.”

The PDP urged Otti to restore the independence of the legislature,show transparency and ensure that due process and accountability are followed in the conduct of government business.