By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Nigerians on Monday mounted pressure on the Benin zonal offoce of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), calling for the arrest and prosecution of former Governor of the State and national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over his alleged infraction in the Benin Specialist hospital project.
Spokesman of the group, Alliance for Collective Progress, called on the anti-graft agency investigate the alleged fraud in the hospital project which was executed during Adams Oshiomhole tenure as Governor of the State.
The protest, followed a judicial commission of Inquiry to investigate the construction and supply of equipment for the Edo Specialist Hospital led by Justice James Oyomire (retd.) that was set up by Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and indicted the former labour leader.
The panel indicted the administration of former governor Adams Oshiomhole for breach of the state’s Public Procurement Law.
The spokesman of the group, Mr Nehemiah Omogiate on Monday stated that the call become necessary following the indictment of the former governor by a judicial Commission of Inquiry in the interest of justice and accountability.
According to him, “It was disheartening that the hospital was inaugurated with alleged borrowed equipment.
“We are here to register our grievance concerning the multi billion naria Edo specialist hospital project, a project that president Muhammadu Buhari was deceived to inaugurate four years ago.
“We are aware that the panel of inquiry set up by governor Godwin Obaseki has submitted its report and in the report, the former governor of Edo state, Adam’s Oshiomhole administration was indicted.
“Up till now, EFCC has not done anything about it. So we are here to ask EFCC to act now because no one individual should be bigger than the law.
“That hospital was commissioned four years ago without equipment. We learnt that the report indicted the former governor for mobilising the contractor with 75 percent of the contract sum which exceeded the 25 percent mobilisation fees for contractors,”he said.
The protesters who were armed with placards with inscriptions such as “Oshiomhole has been indicted, EFCC charge him, Edo people are saying EFCC act now among others.
Responding, the Head of public Affairs EFCC Benin Zonal office, Williams Oseghale who received the protesters, advised them to submit a written petition to EFCC for further action.
Oseghale said: “I have head you and I am going g take your massage back to the Management but i advise that you also send us a written petition,”. he said.
In a related Development, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for good Governance and Internal Democracy said in press briefing in Benin that the report of the commission of Inquiry set up by the governor lacks merit.
The spokesperson of the group Solomon Idiogbe, said the composition of the panel reflects an ulterior motive geared towards indicting and demeaning Oshiomhole.
According to Idiogbe, the constitution of the panel is not in all intent and purpose in the best interest of the people of Edo State.