The project consultant for the Ilesa Water Project, Tawa Williams, has alleged that members of the Osun State House of Assembly demanded $5million as bribe.
Ademola Adeleke, the state governor governor, earlier directed the immediate suspension of Williams over alleged questionable handling of $106million dollar loan for the project.
The governor in a statement by his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, had further ordered full scale probe of the entire project and disbursed loans especially as there was no progress on the project despite reported disbursement of N10billion and another $28million on the project.
He equally suspended the project coordinator to allow for unhindered review of the loan administration while the consultant was directed to return to government the N70million bullet proof jeep in her possession.
The statement said the governor’s directive was sequel to the interim report of the State’s Assets Recovery Committee chaired by Dr B.T. Salami which made recommendations for immediate action to stop further squandering of loans secured to execute the Water Project.
However, William on Thursday disclosed that the House Committee Chairman on Water Resources, Nasiru Olateju, demanded the $5million bribe on behalf of the Osun Assembly.
Williams, who made this revelation while fielding questions on a private television station in Osun, stated that she and her team were invited by the lawmakers after a scheduled site inspection where the bribe was demanded.
While refuting the allegation by the Asset Review Committee that she was using a project vehicle worth N75 million, she revealed that the project vehicle cost N45million.
She said; “The House is asking for five million dollars and I said I don’t have five million dollars to give to anybody. They asked for it for themselves. They are asking for a takeaway grant and they are saying that they will go to the press and say that the quality of work that we have done is not good.
“I told them that one year ago, you were on the site. You were commending us. Now, you will go back to the press and say we have not done well, what would be your reason?
“Yes. They demanded the bribe. I am saying it with all sense of responsibility. It did not come to the House as a whole. The Chairman of the House Committee on Water Supply and members of his committee called us to the meeting. They were saying that we didn’t give them money, and I was saying we do not have money to give to them. The money I have is to do the job.”
Meanwhile, the Osun State House of Assembly had denied the allegations of bribery levelled against it by Williams.
In a statement signed by Kunle Alabi, the Chief Press Secretary to the House of Assembly Speaker, Timothy Owoeye, the House also described the allegation as an attempted blackmail.
The Assembly said, “It is quite unfortunate that the consultant of the Ilesa water project Engineer Tawa Williams has resulted in cheap blackmail in trying to cover up for her incompetence, just like a drowning person who will want to cling to any available straw.
“The House of Assembly under the leadership of Rt. Hon Timothy Owoeye has given Engineer Tawa Williams 24hours to retract her bribery allegation against the committee of the Assembly, her failure to do that within the said hours, the Assembly shall be forced to seek redress in court as no amount of blackmail will stop the Assembly from playing its constitutional role.
“Osun House of Assembly will never ask any Agency of government or individual for any gratification before it could adequately discharge its constitutional duties.
“The said Engineer Tawa Williams had shown that she’s not worthy to have been handed such huge responsibility with her recent outburst of resorting to blackmail to keep afloat with her designation as the consultant of the water project.”