13 September 2017

Nigeria: Ekiti Probe - Fayemi Terminated 71 Contracts, Reviewed 55 Others in Four Years - Witness

The Ekiti State judicial commission of inquiry investigating the tenure of a former governor, Kayode Fayemi, has heard that he allegedly terminated a total of 71 contracts and reviewed 55 others while in office.

A director of cabinet matters and special services department, Office of the Ekiti State Governor, Adedayo Ajobiewe, who gave evidence before the commission on Wednesday, did not, however, state if there were any financial implications of these actions on the state.

Although the panel has the specific mandate to investigate the management and handling of about N852.9 million belonging to the state's Universal Basic Education Fund, it was also in its terms of reference to look into the manner the former governor deployed the state's resources in the execution of projects.

Mr. Ajobiewe tendered a total of 12 exhibits which were admitted in evidence.

He further disclosed that during the period under review, the State Tenders Board approved 1035 briefs which included 909 contracts with 71 of them terminated and 55 varied or reviewed.

According to the witness, contracts could be terminated for various reasons depending on the circumstances in which they were executed.

"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," Mr. Ajobiewe said.

"If this happens, the 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 the 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."

The Chairman of the panel, Silas Oyewole, disclosed that the panel, as part of its brief, would conduct a fact-finding visit to projects executed during the Fayemi administration on Thursday.

He urged all parties and their counsels to be part of the project inspection tour which he said would commence at 12 noon.

The ex-governor has consistently denied allegations of impropriety while he held sway in office. He has equally challenged the legal basis for the setting up of the panel.


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