The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Edo State chapter, has threatened to drag Edo Star Governor, Adams Oshiomhole court, alleging that the Governor and some government official violated the State Public Procurement Law in spending about N18 billion at the newly established Edo University Iyamho (EUI).
The party made the allegation on Wednesday, when its State Publicity Secretary and Legal Adviser, Chris Nehikhare and Prof. Edoba Omoregie, respectively, addressed journalists in Benin.
It threatened to drag Governor Oshiomhole before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution, just as it demanded the resignation of officials of the state government, who were involved in the illegal expenditure of the state resources though unbudgeted funds.
According to Nehikhare, some high ranking officials aided the Governor in breaking the Public Procurement Law passed by the Edo State House of Assembly in February, 2012.
He listed officials and establishments involved in the illegal expenditure in violation of the Procurement Law to include the state Commissioner for Education, Gideon Obhakhan; Commissioner for Health, Dr Aihanuwa Eregie; the state Accountant-General and Edo State Public Procurement Agency and its former Managing Director, Tom Uloko and other senior officials of the agency.
Recalling that Governor Oshiomhole had repeatedly vowed that anyone, who violated the Public Procurement Law will go to jail, the PDP Publicity Secretary said now that Oshiomhole is the one that has violated the law, the proper thing should be done.
On his part, the party’s Legal Adviser Prof. Edoba Omoreige, accused Governor Oshiomhole of virement, by diverting the sum of N1.2 billion from the N3.5 billion set aside for the construction of the new accident and emergency ward complex and renovation of existing structures at the Benin Central Hospital that was contained in the 2015 budget of the state Ministry of Health without the approval of the State House of Assembly.
He also said the being spent to build the Edo University was unbudgeted for.
He alleged that on January, 14, 2016, at a time the state 2016 budget was yet to be signed into law, Governor Oshiomhole flouted the Public Procurement Law by paying the sum of N1.4 billion, representing 75 percent mobilization fee to Vamed Engineering Nigeria Limited for the installation, training and maintenance of medical equipment at the Accident and Emergency ward of the Benin Central Hospital.
“If the state government claims to rely on Section 122 of the 199 Constitution…, the same section limits such expenditure to the tune of the appropriation made for the immediate preceding year. Regrettably, the 2015 budget of Edo State does not contain any single item of appropriation upon which this expenditure was made”, Prof. Omoregie said.
But in his reaction, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Kassim Afegbua said the budget is a public document which captured the State’s general appropriation outlook for 2016 fiscal year.
The State Commissioner for Education, Gideon Obhakhan on his part dismiss the PDP’s allegations as mere propaganda campaign, saying the State Government was trying to finish well.