14 September 2017

Nigeria: Ekiti Judicial Panel to Evaluate Projects Executed By Fayemi

Ado-Ekiti — For the purpose of ascertaining whether there was massive corruption in the execution of projects executed by the administration of former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Justice Silas Oyewole-led judicial panel will thursday conduct a fact-finding visit to projects inaugurated by the government.

At wednesday's proceedings, Oyewole urged all the parties and their counsel to be part of the project inspection tour which he said would commence at 12 noon.

This assessment tour was based on the testimony of a witness, Adedayo Ajobiewe, who told the Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the management of the state funds between October 2010 and October 2014 that a total of 71 contracts were terminated during the period under review.

The panel is investigating how the immediate past administration led Fayemi spent the state allocations that accrued to the state and how same were spent on projects during his four-year tenure.

Ajobiewe, who is the Director of Cabinet Matters in the Cabinet and Special Services Department of the Governor's Office, disclosed that a total of 55 contracts were either varied or reviewed within the period.

He told the panel that between the period under review, the state Tenders Board approved 1,035 briefs which include 909 contracts with 71 of them terminated and 55 varied or reviewed.

Ajobiewe said: "There are some reasons for terminating contracts, it may be because the contractor does a shoddy job, and a contract can be terminated if a contractor abandons the project.

"If this happens, joint measurement will be carried out by the representatives of the contractors, Bureau of Public Projects and the Client Ministries.

"Our office only approves and when joint measurement is done, legal advice will be sought from the Ministry of Justice. My office plays no role in the variation of contracts, state Tenders Board approves variations done by Client Ministries."

Meanwhile, Access Bank and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), in their testimony, said the bank withdrew a sum of N852, 936,713.92 million from UBEC and not Fayemi as being claimed.

The fund was a counterpart fund to finance projects being carried out by the state government through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and was withdrawn by Access bank, alleged to have been mismanaged by Fayemi.

An official of the Access bank, Kayode Adejuyigbe, told the panel that the bank took the decision to withdraw the N852 million counterpart fund because government did not fulfill some terms in the loan.

Adejuyigbe, who is the Branch Manager of Access Bank, Secretariat Road, Ado-Ekiti, told the panel that the bank paid N71,704,020.00 being refund of excess interest charged on fund into the account of the state government.

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