Edo governor Godwin Obaseki has disclosed that his government would set up a commission of inquiry to probe some contracts awarded during the administration of his predecessor in office and current national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole.
A statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to the governor, Cruse Osagie, said that the contracts to be probed are those for the construction of structures and supply of equipment to the Benin Central Hospital.
- The Edo Government said the probe was necessitated by numerous calls on the government to look into the contracts running into billions of taxpayers’ money which were expended on poorly executed projects under the Oshiomhole government.
- He added that the Commission of Inquiry would have a mandate to ascertain if details of contract terms were adhered to.
- “The state government will investigate allegations of fraud and irregularities with the contract for procurement of the hospital equipment,” he said.
Backstory: Just last week, Governor Obaseki sacked 8 commissioners in his cabinet who were said to be loyalists of Adams Oshiomole and nominated their replacements immediately. The two men have also been waging a proxy battle over the leadership of the state assembly with another governorship election fast approaching in the state.
However, in a bid to maintain that this probe is not a witch-hunt of the APC Chairman, Osagie said that the commission would unravel if the equipment contracted were yet to be supplied, the quality of materials used for the building, the extent of irregularities regarding the purchase of equipment, and other claims made by the contractors and then take appropriate action.
Bottomline: It is impossible to see the unfolding Edo drama as anything other than the politics of the next guber polls. The public’s impression is that Obaseki is turning against his political godfather, Oshiomhole, because he does not seem to have his support yet. In taking the fight to Oshiomhole, the Edo governor is mindful of his former colleague, Akinwunmi Ambode, who waited too long to fight back and eventually lost the party’s primary ticket. Obaseki would be hoping to avoid a similar situation in Edo.