A former prosecutor with the Special Presidential Panel on Recovery of Public Property, Tosin Ojaomo, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegation of scam in the purchase of about N1.03bn worth of official cars for members of the Oyo State House of Assembly.
According to the petition dated December 7, 2020, the contract, which was executed by a firm (name withheld), was for the procurement of 33 Toyota Camry cars for the House members and the Clerk at N759m as well as two Toyota Hilux pick-up vans for the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, at N40m.
Two Toyota Prado Land Cruiser SUVs valued at N106m were also purchased for the Deputy Speaker, Abiodun Fadeyi and as Ogundoyin’s back-up vehicles, the petition stated.
Ojaomo, in his petition, alleged that the contract was for the supply of new 2019 vehicle models but noted that refurbished models with cleaned-up mileage were supplied instead.
The lawyer claimed that the contract was fraudulently arranged to favour the contractor instead of Elizade Motors and Mandilas Motors which also tendered quotations.
He added that the alleged scam was discovered when some of the 33 cars supplied by the contractor started having mechanical and electrical problems a few days after delivery to the lawmakers.
Ojaomo, therefore, asked the EFCC to recover the full contract sum from the firm.
The petition read in part, “My petition stemmed from recent findings that the sum of N1,031,380,000 earmarked by the Oyo State Assembly for the purchase of vehicles for honourable members of the house was diverted by the Speaker and Deputy Speaker with the connivance of a company contracted to handle the purchase and supply of cars to the House members.
“The contract was awarded for the supply of brand new Toyota Camry 2019 models but instead of supplying new cars, he went ahead to supply refurbished vehicles and cleaned up the mileage in order to make them look like new ones.”
When asked about the probe, the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said, “Petitions go through a vetting process and it is premature to comment further at this stage.”
The Speaker failed to comment when contacted on several occasions. He did not respond to calls and he also did not react to a message sent to him on WhatsApp platform despite indications that he had read it.
The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Kazeem Olayanju, described the allegations as false.
“I was not able to reach the Speaker to hear from him but from my little findings, they are false allegations,” he stated on Friday.
The Deputy Speaker said he was not aware of the alleged scam, noting that he was not involved in the contract award.