Thursday, 15 October 2015

Ministerial Screening: Read How Fashola Indicts Himself Before The Senate

Ministerial Screening: Read How Fashola Indicts Himself Before The Senate

At the ministerial screening earlier today ex-Lagos state governor Raji Fashola was asked a direct question regarding the N78million appropriated for the building of personal website. Here was Fashola's response...

    “I don’t fix contract prices, it is an institutional process. The only training I have is that of a lawyer... As Governor of Lagos I didn’t sign cheques. I’ve never signed cheques, I didn't fix contract prices”

While we all agree that award of contract is an Institutional process, FASHOLA refused to tell the Senate that the process is only finalised when the relevant commissioner in charge of the affected ministry append his/her signature as prescribed by Section 30(5) of Lagos State Public procurement Law (2011) which Fashola signed into law... In fact subsection 5 was very clear...

30.— (1)   There is established by this Law in each of the State’s Ministry, Extra-ministerial Office/Department/Agency, Parastatal, Corporation, a Tenders’ Board.

(2)   Subject to the approval of the Board, the Agency shall from time to time prescribe the membership of the Tenders’ Board.

(3)   The Tenders’ Board shall have power to award and be responsible for the procurements of goods, works and services within the benchmark set in the Regulations to this Law.

(4)   In all cases where there is a need for pre-qualifications, the Chairman of the Tenders’ Board shall constitute a technical evaluation subcommittee of the Tenders’ Board charged with the responsibility for the evaluation of bids which shall be made up of professional staff of the procuring entity and the Secretary of the Tenders Board who shall also be the Chairman of the Evaluation subcommittee.

Fashola Indicts Himself:
From the section (SPECIFICALLY subsection 5) it is expressly clear that the Fashola's administration through the affected Commissioner 'okayed' the contract to be awarded at that RIDICULOUS amount. We should also note that Commissioners are not elected but appointed by Governors and they report to Governors. That means the affected Commissioner must have reported the said contract to then Governor Fashola while reporting the activities of his ministry to his boss.

Looking at the defence that Fashola put up and placing it side by side with procedure, two things can be deduced;

1. Fashola was aware of the whole thing but deliberately LIED before the Senate to cover his track. He was fully aware of the deal. The job of the Commissioner is to ensure that contracts by the Tender Board is in the public interest. His/her signature is a testament of endorsement. Fashola as briefed but deliberately refused to revoke nor question the contract. In fact, he was silent about it until Ambode raised alarm. OR

2. Fashola was not aware thereby making him complacent of his duties as governor of Lagos state. If this is true (which is doubtful), then we beg to ask how many more inflated contracts went undetected by the Governor? This second is a statement of incompetence.

Both 1 and 2 are indicting if we look at them from any angle..

The 'I Never Signed Chequ' Holds No Water
The Fashola's 'I never signed cheque' statement is untenable anywhere. No Governor or Presidents signs cheque for the award of contract in Nigeria. There are Accountants that effect payment. What is required of the political officers is to APPROVE contracts for the Accountants to issue cheques. So why should Fashola use that as defence? Let me also remind all that NO Governor or President 'steal' or inflate contracts directly! The process to loot has always been INFLATION of contracts through relevant Commissioners/D-Gs etc.

It is however unfortunate that the Senate FAILED to ask relevant question but instead nod their heads in ignorance. It is very shameful that the same Nigerians that called for the head of Princess Stella Oduah over the N260million vehicle were singing Fashola's praise for the shabby defence that he put up.

May God Bless Us All