NEW ABIA: ‘The Payment of legal fees through contract award? by Ikechukwu Iroha | #NwokeukwuMascot

OPINION

Dr Alex Chioma Otti

In what seems like an attempt at organized heist, Gov. Otti has been caught up in another scandal involving award of road project contracts in Aba.

Recall that Mr Otti last week, handed over 9 internal roads in Aba to yet to be officially identified contractors. Till today, no member of Otti's government has mentioned the identity of the contractors, cost and the scope of the work, which is directly opposite his campaign promises of publicly opening bids for all contracts under his administration.

We have just received verified information that Mr Otti awarded all or most of these contracts to a company where his election petition tribunal lead counsel, Kenneth Ahia, SAN, has major shareholding interest.

The company’s name is Solberg Engineering Ltd with Mr Ahia listed as one of the shareholders.  (See attached.)

Directors and Owners of Solberg

Otti has added running of opaque government as part of the impunities he brought to Abia Government House despite agitations from different quarters, including his own supporters, who have become helpless going by the tyrannical actions that is grossly reducing the goodwill that announced him.

Many Obedients that voted for him because of our revered Peter Obi must be disappointed with this revelation especially with the New Abia mantra of change. As at the time the contractors were presented, there was no state executive council in place to approve  contracts above fifty million naira and the state house of assembly also did not give any approval.  Nobody has sighted any newspaper advert for competitive bidding and I challenge his media aides to publish the newspapers where the adverts were made as required by our procurement law.

Are these jobs meant to defray the cost of legal representation at the tribunal, as the SAN, who is a major shareholder of Solberg and major stakeholders of Labour Party is in charge of all the labour candidates legal matters in Abia ? Does the electoral law permit Otti to pay for legal services through spurious contract award to cronies and his personal lawyer? 

We expect the state house of assembly to investigate these transactions immediately. We also want to know the scope and cost of each project.

Rather than continue to tell us what and how past administrations did whatever, when will we see actual new way of doing things as promised during the election? 

Could it be in furtherance of his secret awards of road contracts that made Mr Otti appoint two of his Arochukwu brothers as Commissioners for Works and Finance, while Aba South LGA does not have a member in state EXCO ?  This question is important because we want to know what cost is attached to a road like Jubilee in Aba that is very motorable but with few potholes due to rains and Azikiwe that is 100% good but a minor desilting.

 Abians want to know what is happening!

The most scary implication of the above is that the cost of these jobs will likely be inflated to make up for the cost of these litigations which is allegedly the main consideration in awarding the fraudulent jobs .

We call on the Abia House of Assembly to stop this fraudulent award that have failed the due process template which Abias crave for.

We equally call on all NGOs to come out and stand against this impunity. This is democracy and not a military rule where the Gov wakes up and does as he likes...

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