By Franca Joseph (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – A former Edo All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, and former aide to Adams Oshiomhole, during his stints as of Edo State Governor, Prince Kassim Afegbua, now in the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has come out to stoutly defend his former boss in the face of allegations that he breached the state’s Public Procurement Law (during his tenure) in the procurement of materials for the construction of the Edo Specialist Hospital.
Afegbua , speaking on Channels TV’s Politics Today, argued that the 75% upfront payment made by Oshiomhole’s administration was not a breach of the state’s Public Procurement Law, which stipulates that any contractor working on a government project should not receive more than 25% upfront payment upon the award of a contract, but due to the fact that the equipment in question were state of the art items, and secondly because it was a strategy by the government to ensure that the company would not default in terms of manufacturing them.
Proceeding in Oshiomhole’s defence, Afegbua added that Section 47 of the procurement law, contained exceptions in cases of exigencies stating that “in the event that you are going to pay more than 25%, there has to be a written request from the company. There also has to be a bank guarantee and or, an insurance bond to ensure that when you pay such amount of money, the contractor will not run away from site”.
Kassim Afegbua, who was responding to allegations against the defunct Oshiomhole administration by the Senior Special Adviser on Public Affairs to Governor Obaseki, Andrew Emwanta, added that Governor Godwin Obasei was part and parcel of the Executive Committee that managed the procurement of materials for the construction of the hospital project.