— Sets Up Probe Panel For Edo 5-Star Hospital
By Sir Ralph Okhiria
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has warned the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhiole, leaders and members of the proscribed Edo Peoples Movement (EPM), to desist from activities and statements that could lead to a breakdown of law and order in the state.
At a meeting with chairmen of the All Progressives Congress (APC) across the 18 Local Government Areas of the state, the governor said anti-party activities carried out either by the suspended National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole or his allies in the EPM would be dealt with.
“The party does not belong to him (Oshiomhole); it belongs to all of us. It is the members that make the party supreme and not one individual,” he said.
The governor warned Oshiomhole to desist from his provocative activities or he may be forced, as governor, to invoke his powers to deal with him, noting, “We are warning the suspended national chairman that if he continues with his activities in the state, I will show him that I am the governor of the state. When he was governor, he would not tolerate the misbehavior he is exhibiting today.
“I have decided that if Oshiomhole comes to our state to disrupt activities of the state and party, we will deal with him. He stands suspended and in due course we will take appropriate action to expel him if he doesn’t behave well.”
Obaseki accused Oshiomhole of not supporting the APC while he was governor of the state, noting that “If there was any regret, it would be the elevation of Oshiomhole to the position of national chairman. My predecessor did not build the party in the state. With all the resources he had, he could not support the party.
“How can we be in power for 10 years in the state and do not have our own party building. As I speak, we are looking for our own land so that we will build our secretariat,” he added.
“I have authorised you to deal with anybody who wants to do anything contrary to the APC constitution. We will not allow destructive elements destroy our party.
“The president has urged us to build the party from the base, so anyone who cannot comply with the party structure should leave the party,” he added.
Obaseki while commending the party’s mobilisation committee for working hard to swell the ranks of the party, assured the APC LGA chairmen of his continued support.
In his remarks, Edo State Chairman of the APC, Barr Anselm Ojezua, said Governor Obaseki remains the people’s choice in the Edo 2020 governorship election.
Ojezua commended the governor and his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu for supporting the party in terms of resources and spending time with members, noting that the gesture was unprecedented.
The convener of the meeting and Chairman of the Edo APC LGAs chairmen, Mr. Ben Oghumu, said the forum was organised to commend the governor for his support to different levels of party and its members.
Meanwhile, Governor Godwin Obaseki, has ordered the probe of contracts for the construction of the Benin Specialist Hospital and supply of hospital equipment.
The state government consequently constituted a Commission of Inquiry to conduct a detailed inquiry into the process leading to the conceptualization, design, construction and equipping of the hospital and determine if there was a breach of the Edo State Procurement Law and other extant laws and procedures.
In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said the commission is to be chaired by Hon. Justice J.U. Oyomire (rtd), with Prof. Emmanuel E. Obaseiki-Ebor, Mrs. Elizabeth Uwaifo, Enemaku Hilary Igemoh Esq., as members. Mr. Anthony Izevbekhale Esq. is to serve as the commission’s secretary.
“The appointment takes immediate effect,” he noted.
Ogie said the terms of reference of the commission includes. “To conduct a detailed inquiry into the processes leading to the conceptualization, design, construction and equipping of the Benin Specialist/Central Hospital Extension (originally designated as the Accident and Emergency Unit) and determine if same were in breach of the Edo State Procurement Law and other extant Laws and procedures in that regard.”
Others, according to him, are, “To inquire into the process of tendering for, award, execution and payment for all contracts arising from and/or connected with the Benin Specialist/Central Hospital Extension and to determine if such payments (s) were made in compliance with extant laws.”
The commission is also charged “To verify the details and dates of construction carried out on the project and equipment supplied on the Hospital project and to determine if same were in line with the contract stipulations and timelines.
According to him, they are to “Identify any losses and/or damages incurred or suffered by the Edo State Government and to further identify all persons responsible for such losses or damages.
Ogie noted that the commission will “Make appropriate recommendations for such disciplinary civil or criminal sanctions to be meted out against any persons found to be responsible for such losses or damages suffered by Edo State Government arising from failure to follow extant Laws and procedures.
Other tasks include, “To make recommendations to Government to prevent a reoccurrence of such breaches, losses or damages in the future and make such further recommendations to the Government as may be considered by the Commission.”