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Osun APC, PDP in war of words over contract award

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Osun APC, PDP in war of words over contract award

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State on Tuesday, engaged in an exchange of words over who the government awarded N100bn project to in the state.

The APC had first alleged Ademola Adeleke led PDP government of nepotism in the award of public contracts in the state to his elder brother, Dr. Deji Adeleke; his son, David Adeleke popularly known as Davido, deputy speaker of the state house of assembly,Akinyode Abidemi Oyewusi, among others.

The opposition party in the state scolded the governor for continuously running the affairs of the state as private enterprise of the Adeleke dynasty, decrying what it called the gross violation of the 2015 Public Procurement Law of the state in the award of the contracts worth about N50bn to entities with no professional and technical competence.

This is even as the party called on the anti-graft agencies, particularly Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), to come to the aid of the state.

The APC raised the allegations on Tuesday at a Press Conference addressed by its Chairman, Alhaji Tajudeen Lawal, held at Tinubu/ Shettima campaign office, Osogbo.

Lawal accused Adeleke of flagrant disobedience of extant laws and gross violation of the 2015 Public Procurement Law of the state in the award of the contracts to entities with no background in road construction.

But the PDP vehemently denied the allegations that the state government violated the state procurement law, describing the allegations unfounded and far from the truth.

They also affirmed that the state government is not only complying with extant laws but also prudently deploying available resources to develop the state infrastructure.

The state chairman of the party, Hon. Sunday Bisi stated this while addressing journalists at the party secretariat, Biket Junction, Osogbo.

Bisi said, few weeks ago, the Osun State Government released details of companies awarded the first phase of projects in the multi-billion infrastructure plan of the state.

The companies, he said, have undergone rigorous scrutiny of journalists and conscious citizens, and there is no established link of any of the companies to Dr. Deji Adeleke or his son, David Adeleke (Davido).

He said Osun APC is expected to at least be reasonable in its quest to manufacture lies, adding that Dr. Deji Adeleke is a renowned businessman with a series of successful ventures and has no reason whatsoever to be hiding behind anyone to engage in a legitimate business.

“We take the reckless accusation of the Osun APC as a failed strategy to drag the serial investor into their shameless rhetoric and we enjoin the public to totally discountenance this irresponsible blackmail attempt by the feckless opposition in Osun state,” Bisi said.

He also denied a defamatory allegation by Soko Lawal that the Adeleke family is looting the state treasury through contract awards, noting that the family is blessed and is only focussed on giving back to the society.

But APC Chairman, Sooko Lawal hit back, arguing that the financial injection through the supposed infrastructure is being circumvented and cornered by the Adeleke family using business names of Dr. Deji Adeleke and lawmaker from Ife North State constituency of Osun State, Hon. Akinyode Abidemi Oyewumi.

“Tongues are currently wagging in Osun State that the billionaire brother of Governor Adeleke, Dr Deji Adeleke and his son, Mr David Adeleke a.k.a. ‘Davido’ are interested parties in the touted multi-billion naira road and flyover projects using inactive and inexperienced companies to front for them,” he said

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“It is bizarre that two companies founded by the incumbent Deputy Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Mr Akinyode Abidemi Oyewusi, were recently awarded road construction contracts by the Government of Osun State.

“The Osun State Deputy Speaker is the founder of Raregeode Company Limited and Acumen Forte Limited, two companies awarded road projects by Governor Adeleke to the tune of N9 billion and was a shareholder in the two companies as at the time the contracts were awarded; while members of his family were also Person(s) with Significant Interest in the two companies, which is contrary to the public procurement law of Osun State.

“By virtue of the PPA Law of 2015, it amounts to unholy conflict of interest that a leader of the state House of Assembly will, through the back door, use two companies founded by him and where he is still a shareholder and members of his family are still holding principal directing positions, to bid for public contracts.

“For the fact that this seemingly unpatriotic action of Mr Oyewusi grossly violates provisions of the state’s procurement law, he should resign his membership of the state House of Assembly outright and hand himself over to the anti-graft agency for prosecution.

“Again, it is strange that the Ademola Adeleke Government awarded public contracts to companies with no history of road construction. There is no verifiable evidence that Raregeode Company Limited, Acumen Forte Limited and the three companies engaged for the road construction, namely: Ascorj Integrated Nigeria Ltd, Great Enyork Technology Limited and Enginec Engineering Limited, have the capacity and experience for such whooping contracts. The contracts were not only gifted to mushroom companies, they were gifted at insane costs. Even in the Niger Delta states where topology is unfriendly, contracts are not awarded at N2.5bn per kilometer as Governor Adeleke has done in the instance of Osun.

“We want to use this medium to call on the anti-graft agencies, especially the ICPC and EFCC, to immediately move in their men to Osun State in order to halt the reckless mismanagement of public fund which is now endemic under the government of Senator Ademola Adeleke”, Lawal asserted.

Sunday Bisi in his own reaction noted that Osun APC failed to quote the relevant section of the PPA 2015 easily gives away the lies in its claim.

“The award of the contracts followed the lettered provisions of the PPA 2015, which we believe the Osun APC is ignorant of or just choose to be mischievous by setting out a wrong narrative in the public. There is no violation of the procurement law of Osun state or any other laws,” he said.

“It is on record that as at the time when Raregeode Company Limited and Acumen Forte Limited won the bid and were awarded contracts for the various projects, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. AKINYODE ABIDEMI OYEWUSI has ceased to have any role in the two companies. The public are advised to note the March 20, 2023, resignation letter of Rt. Hon. AKINYODE ABIDEMI OYEWUSI, relinquishing control over the two companies in line with the provisions of the law. As long as he has resigned his interest in the company, there is no encumbrance or illegality on the side of the Deputy Speaker.”

The APC also frayed the Adeleke’s style of governance which it described as anti-masses saying, “while Governor Adeleke and members of his family are lining their pockets with public fund, the people of Osun State suffer untold hardship on account of lack of palliative and welfare programmes from the government of the state”.

The party noted that it is paradoxical that despite the fact that the monthly allocations from the federation account since May last year have doubled, Osun State Government under the leadership of Governor Adeleke has flagrantly refused to complement the palliatives provided by the Federal Government to cushion the debilitating effects of the removal of the oil subsidy.

“Under Governor Adeleke, the state is now described in the media as the Poverty Headquarters of Yorubaland as all micro-economic indices have isolated Osun State in the South-West as the poorest. Ever since the current socio-economic challenges erupted, the Adeleke hegemony has never directly intervened to ease the global and national trauma”, the party stated.

PDP in its response dispelled APC claims saying, the state under the watch of governor Ademola Adeleke has witnessed tremendous development within the space of one year, adding that APC should play opposition with dignity and not turning to laughing stocks in the society, as they are not the first party to lose an election.

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