A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Good Governance and Internal Democracy yesterday dismissed the report of the judicial commission of inquiry set up by Edo governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki saying, “it lacks merit because the Governor had his biological brother in the panel”.
The Coalition said Governor Obaseki’s desperation to indict his benefactor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole through “the commission of inquiry is ultra vires, as the matter is subjudice.”
Mr. Solomon Idiogbe who led the group to a news conference at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Government Reservation Area (GRA), Benin, berated Governor Godwin Obaseki for declaring war against his benefactor (Oshiomhole), describing him as an ingrate.
The group said: “On May 14, 2020, Nigerians woke up to the usual boisterous expression of Obaseki, as the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Construction of the Edo Specialist Hospital, Benin City and Supply of Equipment that he inaugurated, submitted its report, which could not find Comrade Oshiomhole guilty of any form of aggrandizement, but indicted him of mobilizing the contractor to site with 75 percent of the contract sum. The offense of Comrade Oshiomhole is that he exceeded the 25 percent monetization fee for contractors.
“Obaseki, in his desperation, failed to tell Nigerians that the decision to pay the contractor 75 percent was taken by the State Executive Council and the (Obaseki) was a part of the decision, as the then Chairman of the Economic Team. The decision of the executive council was to fast-track the delivery of the project. Probing of the Edo Specialist Hospital is diversionary, vindictive, unjust, unnecessary, and callous.
“The judicial commission of inquiry set up by Edo governor lacks merit, as he has his biological brother in the panel, in Obaseki’s desperation to indict Comrade Oshiomhole. Sitting of the commission of inquiry is ultra vires, as the matter is subjudice.”
The coalition also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and other funding agencies to stop granting loans to the Obaseki administration, in order not to endanger the future of the state and its people.
It also decried the insecurity in Edo, declaring that Obaseki’s government had failed to rise to the responsibility of protection of lives and property of residents of the state and to properly constitute Edo House of Assembly, as well as to show sincerity in the fight against COVID-19.
The group also condemned Obaseki’s administration’s decision to force Oshiomhole’s ally, Tony Kabaka, to pay N18 million, as the cost of the recent demolition of his highbrow hotel in Benin.
It said: “We decry the claim by Edo government that N18 million was spent on the demolition of the hotel of Comrade Tony Adun, aka Kabaka. The claim that Obaseki’s government spent N18 million on the demolition of the property shows the criminal dimension of governance in Edo State.
“To claim N18 million for an activity of about N200,000 reveals why Edo State has become financially crippled. We reject the Edo governor’s demand of N18 million. The victim cannot pay for an exercise that was carried out in disregard of legal processes.
“For Edo governor to undermine the court and arbitrarily destroy the property of Tony Adun smacks of executive recklessness, oppression, and dictatorship. We call on the victim to seek proper redress. Obaseki must realize that his second term agenda does not rest on his capacity to intimidate and harass perceived opponents.”
The group urged Obaseki’s administration to forthwith desist from harassing decent Edo residents through spurious allegations and claims.