The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the construction of the Edo Specialist Hospital and supply of equipment for the hospital has indicted the administration of the former governor Adams Oshiomhole for breach of the state’s Public Procurement Law.
Chairman of the Commission, Justice James Oyomire (retd.), who presented the commission’s findings to Governor Godwin Obaseki, at Government House, in Benin City, on Thursday, said the award of the contract for the construction of the hospital was fraught with breaches of the state’s procurement laws.
He said the procurement law clearly stated that any contractor working on a government project should not receive more than 25 per cent upfront payment upon contract award, which Oshiomhole’s administration contravened.
Justice Oyomire said,
“The immediate past administration paid 75 per cent of the contract sum upfront for the project to Vamed Engineering.”
He said part of the commission’s eight-point recommendation included that the Ministry of Justice should institute civil and criminal actions against those found culpable in the breach of the law.
The recommendations, according to him, also include the strengthening of the state’s public procurement agency and ensuring strict adherence to the provision of the agency’s law on award of contract.
Obaseki, while receiving the report, said that anyone found culpable, no matter how highly-placed, would be called to account for their action.
Noting that the past eight weeks had been very revealing with the outbreak of the coronavirus, he said it had given him the opportunity to have a first-hand encounter and knowledge of the state’s healthcare sector.