The Chairman of Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Dan Orbih, has called on the State House of Assembly, to commence impeachment proceedings against the State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, for allegedly spending about N18 billion unbudgeted funds to establish the newly established Edo University, Iyamho.
This is even as he called for the resignation of the State Commissioner for Education, Gideon Obhakhan, and the State Accountant General.
The university has been embroiled in a number of controversies. For instance, questions that bordered many at the beginning was, who owned the institution? At what cost was it awarded? At a time the state owned institutions, including Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, were under funded, is there any need for another state owned university?
Meanwhile, Orbih, who made the call while briefing journalists in Benin, said there was nothing to suggest that the House of Assembly approved the expenditures in establishing the university.
According to him, the award of contracts executed in the University did not follow due process as they were neither advertised nor bidded for, just as he added that the contracts were curiously awarded within seven days in December, 2015.
The PDP Chairman 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 awarded 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.
He said Governor Oshiomhole must explain to the people of the state why 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 about the same time Edo University Iyamho was established.
‘I am from the Edo North and the Iyamho University is located in Edo North. I will, however, not watch the Governor appropriate unbudgeted funds.
‘The contracts are inflated and did not follow due process. At a time the country is facing recession, this is not the way state resources should be spent,’ he said.
But in a swift reaction, Edo State Government through the State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Kassim Afegbua, said Chief Dan Orbih lacked the basic understanding of governance and it’s dynamics.
He said: ‘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.
‘The State Executive Council approves contracts when they have met all the requirements of bidding in line with procurement Act. We do not behave like PDP chieftains who defrauded the nation and the state with reckless abandon without respect for due process.
Afegbua described the call for impeachment as ‘laughable, ridiculous and outlandish,’ adding that the budget is a public document which captured the state’s general appropriation outlook for 2016 fiscal year.