A former Deputy Governor of Osun State and two-term Senator, Iyiola Omisore, and a firm, Cartill Construzioni Nigeria Limited, are at the heart of a road project fraud initially billed to cost N650 million.
The project is the Ife-Ifewara Road in Osun State, awarded in 2010 but not executed.
SaharaReporters learnt that Omisore got N151 million of the road project fund from the National Assembly as his constituency project and might have shared it with the firm, while the road project was not executed for years.
It was gathered that the Redeemed Christian Church of God later constructed the road as a Corporate Social Responsibility.
The church employed the services of its construction department to execute the project between August 26, 2016 and 2019 and the total cost was about N188 million, as against the N650 million earlier quoted by the contractor initially billed to construct it.
Ifewara is the hometown of the RCCG General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
After constructing the road, the RCCG in March 24, 2021, raised a petition to the Senate, saying it had reasons to believe that the Federal Government had paid N151.51 million to the firm, Cartill Construzioni Nigeria Limited for the rehabilitation of the Ife-Ifewara Road, a work which was indeed carried out by the church.
In the petition, the Secretary to the RCCG General Overseer, Pastor Niyi Adebanjo, said the church, after carrying out the rehabilitation of the road, learnt that the firm, which was awarded the contract since 2010, and had abandoned the work for over six years, after being paid and the government should therefore recover the money.
At the Senate committee on public petitions hearing, Senator Smart Adeyemi from Kogi West was furious that the firm swindled Nigerians and the government by failing to execute a 15-kilometre road project which was put at N650 million as far back as 2010.
Adeyemi said, “The chairman of the company doesn’t hear English – but he hears naira. He knows how to collect our money. When this contract was awarded, what was the exchange rate? You put N650 million for a 15-kilometre road and you could not even do anything? This petition has opened our eyes. You cannot collect money and the job is not done?
“There are many of these cases that nobody talks about. Today, the economy is bleeding and people are suffering because of the past mismanagement of public funds. We must make the punitive measures so severe. I once recommended life imprisonment for corrupt persons. The company that has collected money should be ready to face the consequences of the money it has collected.”
SaharaReporters learnt from competent sources that Omisore and the firm might have shared the money which led to the abandonment of the project for six years, before RCCG undertook it.
“The Senator who got the road contract as a constituency project and pushed the money out was Iyiola Omisore,” the source stated.
At the hearing, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola clarified that the award of the contract and payment of the said contract sum were made between 2010 and 2011, four years before the present administration came to being.
The minister said further that the contract was awarded on December 21, 2010, to the contractor in the sum of N662,760,771.75 with a commencement date of March 7, 2011 and completion date of November 7, 2011.
The minister stated that N151.51 million was paid to the contractor, in two tranches, adding that while the first payment of N99,414,115.76, made on March 31, 2011, represented 15 percent of contract sum, the second payment of N52,094,785, made on December 29, 2011, was based on submission of an Interim Statement.
Meanwhile, in February 2021, the former Osun State Deputy Governor, Omisore defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) with many of his supporters.
Omisore, the senator who represented Osun East from 2003 to 2009 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was Osun State deputy governor under Governor Adebisi Akande.
It is unlikely that Omisore will be investigated over his role in the contract scam considering how people’s “sins’ are forgiven by the President Muhammadu Buhari government the moment they join the APC.
Confirming this in January 2019, the former National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, while campaigning for Buhari’s re-election, urged members of the opposition party to join his party so that their sins could be forgiven.
At an APC rally in Benin, the Edo State capital, while receiving some members of the PDP into the APC during the rally, he said, “We have some PDP defectors. They are, Henry Tenebe, Iluobe….Iluobe means I have done something wrong. Yes, once you join the APC, your sins are forgiven.”