From Vincent Egunyanga
Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the construction of the Edo
Specialist Hospital and supply of equipment for the hospital has
indicted the administration of the former Governor of Edo State, Comrade
Adams Oshiomhole for breach of the state’s Public Procurement Law.
Presenting the report to Governor Godwin Obaseki, the Commission’s Chairman, Justice James Oyomire (rtd), said the award of the contract for the construction of the hospital was fraught with breaches of the state’s procurement laws.
According to him, the procurement law clearly states that any contractors working on a government project should not receive more than 25 percent upfront payment upon contract award, which Oshiomhole’s administration contravened.
“The immediate past administration paid 75 percent of the contract sum upfront for the project to Vamed Engineering.”
” Part of the commission’s 8-point recommendation includes that the Ministry of Justice should institute civil and criminal actions against those found culpable in the breach of the law,”
He added that the recommendation also include the strengthening of the state’s public procurement agency and ensuring strict adherence to the provision of the agency’s law on award of contract.
Responding governor Obaseki, assured that anyone found culpable, no matter how highly-placed, will be called to account for their action.
“We have been putting the right measures in place and if there are resources of government that need to be returned back, we will not hesitate to ask for it.
“Since I came into office, you cannot find this type of breach you have mentioned. If people have to face prosecution, whether civil or criminal, they will have to be prosecuted.
When you are given a public trust, so much is expected from you and there is a responsibility to maintain that public trust. We want to build institutions and not individuals because individuals will come and go, but institutions will remain,he said”
He added “ the people who have the opportunity of rebuilding the system took further steps in destroying the already weakened system. We shall seat down and thoroughly review this report,”.