Adams Oshiomhole: Mismanagement and Corruption in Edo State Nigeria
This report is part of an investigation by Caracal Reports, who received a petition and financial documentation from government sources who wish to remain anonymous. The documents reveal misappropriation and corruption by the Oshiomhole administration.
The immediate past Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole may soon be the guest of the Nigerian anti-graft agency, The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). (Unsurprisingly, former Governors end up as regular guests of the anti-graft agency.)
This news comes on the strength of a strongly worded petition to the Agency, which was made exclusively available to Caracal Reports in Benin City, Edo State Nigeria. Caracal Reports will be monitoring the petition and will keep the Nigerian public and international community abreast of further developments in the case.
The petition raised several issues bordering on allegations of fraudulent practices, misappropriations, financial misapplications and embezzlement through contract splitting and outright racketeering. Authors of the petition, Comrade Kola Edokpayi of the Talakawa’s parliament, and Bishop Dr. Osadolor Ochei, J.P of the Achievers Organisation who are renowned “Rights Activists” in the state, are pushing their self-imposed course under the aegis of the ‘Group of Concerned Edo NGOs and Stakeholders’.
The petitioners say they were compelled to act because they believe that the people have not only been short-changed through fraudulent means but also that their commonwealth has been frittered away by an administration led by a pretentious “Comrade” Governor.” Throughout his eight-year tenure, the Governor claimed to be judiciously spending the taxpayers’ money for the people’s welfare, but he was doing anything but this.
Pouring through the various transactions that we had access to on the Oshiomhole Administration, we found shocking behavior that amounts to what January 28, 2017, Nigerian Vanguard blazing banner headline described as “How State Governments waste money.”
Against the backdrop that Oshiomhole was one of those at the forefront of his All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s fight against corruption, the records show profligacy of monumental proportion. Throughout his tenures, Oshiuomhole seemed serious about accountability and was quite noisy about it, but from available records, the reverse was just the case.
According to the Debt Management Office, Edo state Government the petitioners averred, is the third highest indebted state in Nigeria and from documents available to Caracal Reports, a significant part of the borrowed funds were diverted by the Governor to his private use and those of his cronies. In the former Governor’s eight years tenure, he obviously plundered the resources of the state and diverted billions of the state’s revenue to his personal account using proxies.
In the face of the current biting recession in Nigeria, Oshiomhole used government funds for his lavish wedding. Furthermore, the former Governor spent the peoples’ money on chartered flights, which were excessive and hypocritical in an administration that claimed to be prudent in the management of the resources of the state. Oshiomhole’s chartered flights amounted to N5 billion.
Caracal Reports is providing herein examples of Oshiomhole’s fraudulent practices, which were asserted by the accessed documentation.
- A payment voucher dated 10/7/14 indicated that the sum of N11,9800,000 was spent by the Oshiomhole administration on a chartered “chopper” belonging to “AERO CONTRACTORS”, used on the 4th and 10th July 2014 respectively, traversing rural communities on not too essential duties- and more often than not, on social and political events.
Routes: Iyamho-Evbuobanosa-Benin-Evbuobanosa-Iyamho.: N4,900,000. Iyamho happens to be where his country home is located and his birthplace.
Then, after that, Benin-Abeokuta-Benin: N7,000,000.
Strikingly, a memo for the release of these funds was raised on the same day, approved by the former Governor on the same day, and the monies released on the same day- 10/7/14.
- Payment of voucher dated 18/2/14 indicated the sum of N9,540,000 was released as payment for chartered flights owned by ‘STAR GATE JETS and AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES LTD, used by the Edo State Government between 24 January- 10 February 2014.
- Payment of voucher dated 25/3/14 indicates payment of the sum of N480,000 for air tickets for guests of the former Governor on February 13, 2014. For these, one
Akhigbe John, Executive Director (Protocol, Government House), signed as receiver of the fund.
- Payment of voucher dated 13 June 2014 shows payment of the sum of N8,920,000 for the services of chartered flight used by Edo State Government on various occasions as per the minutes of a memo.
One Cpl. Fayenmwo Bright, a Chief Security Officer (CSO ) orderly signed as receiver of the fund on 16 June 2014.
The attached letter of request for the fund, which has, files No. GHA. 171/T vol. DL/64-67, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Government House, B.l. Emoedume (Esq) on 12 June 2014 gives a breakdown as follows;
10/6/2014: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES LTD.
11/6/2014: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICE LTD.
11/6/2014: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICE LTD.
From the records, the former Governor approved the release of these funds on the same day it was requested (12/6/14).
- In the payment voucher dated 17/4/14, the sum of N4, 900,000,000 was released for the services of a flight belonging to ALPHA Helicopters Limited, by Edo State Government on 5th April 2016 as per minute of another memo.
- Payment voucher dated 28/3/14, the sum of 7,540,000,000 was paid for the services of a chartered flight used by the Edo state Government on various occasions as per a memo minute
- Payment voucher dated 13/6/14, indicate that the sum of 8,920,000, was paid for the services of a chartered flight used by Edo State Government on various occasions as per minute of a memo.
Nobody signed as the receiver on this fund except for the stamp of Secretary to the State Government appearing for the signature of the officer controlling expenditure.
This obviously is a duplication of a previous payment voucher which Cpl. Fayenmwo Bright, (CSO) orderly signed as a receiver a pointer to a fraud.
- Permanent Secretary, Government House and Protocol B.I Emoedume (ESQ) in a letter dated 16/4/14 carrying file no. GHA.IFI/TVOL DL/58-62 requested approval for the release for the sum of 9,858,000 for payment in respect of a chartered flight for Edo State Government.
The former Governor gave his approval on the same day 16/4/14.
The breakdown is as follows:-
5/3/2014: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES LTD.
27/3/2014: SWAT TECHNOLOGY LTD.
28/3/2014:- SKY BIRD AIR
10/4/2014:- FERRY AVIATION DEV. SERVICES LTD.
- On 21/11/2012, Permanent Secretary, Government House Protocol, B.I. Emoedume (Esq). Requested the former Governor to approve the release of the sum of N4,248,000 for the payment of a chartered aircraft on the 20th and 21st of November, 2012.
The former Governor Adams Oshiomhole approved the funds on the same day, 21/11/12, the request was made
20/11/12: KINGS AVIATION
Benin- Abuja: N2,112,000
21/11/12:- IZYAIR LTD.
- On the 27/3/14, payment voucher for the payment of the sum of 11,950,000 in respect of services of a chartered flight by Edo state Government on various occasion as per minute of a memo was issued.
- Payment voucher dated 5/6/14 indicates the sum of 4,160,000 was paid for a chartered flight used by Edo state Government on various occasion.
Cpl Fayenmwo Bright, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the Governor signed as receiver of the said fund.
2/6/14: MOUNTHILL AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICE LTD.
3/6/14: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES LTD.
- Payment voucher dated 23/6/14 shows the payment for the sum of #1,950,000 in respect of flight services rendered by AVIATION RESOURCES SERVICES Ltd. On 13 June 2014 on Abuja-Benin-Abuja route, one Yusuf Haruna signed as receiver of the fund, 9/7/14.
- Payment voucher dated 18/2/14 shows payment of the sum of N9,540,000 for chartered flight owned by STAR GATE JETS and AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES Ltd, used by Edo state Government between 24th January and 10th February 2014.
- Payment voucher dated 9/5/2014, the sum of N18,694,000 was paid in respect of chartered flight operated by AVIATION RESOURCES LTD, and SWAT TECHNOLOGY LTD, respectively.
- On 30/5/2014, the sum of N14, 350,000 was released as payment for chartered flight used by Edo state Government on various occasions (not stated).
- Payment vouchers dated 21/7/14 indicate release of N14/900/000 as payment for the services of chartered flight used by Edo state Government on yet various occasions.
Letter of request for the funds originated from Permanent Secretary, Government House and Protocol, B.i. Emoedume (Esq), dated 17/7/14 and with file NO. GHA. 171/T2A/83-88 gives the breakdown as follows:
25/6/14: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES LTD.
01/7/2014: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES LTD.
2/7/2014: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES LTD.
Abuja-Benin-Abuja: – #1,950,000
8/7/2014: AVIATION RESOURCE SERVICES LTD.
14/7/2014: Aviation Resource Services Ltd.
In all of these, a major question to be raised is, were these flights operated, or that due vouchers were merely raised as outlets for siphoning cash from the Government’s purse? What is even more curious is the fact that, Nigerians are aware of Aero Contractors and Bristow Airlines that operate fixed wing choppers.
The names of the chopper airlines in the vouchers approved for money disbursements are new, unknown to Nigerians and suspicious as not being authentic. Could the charter airlines be private choppers owned by politicians or even the Governor himself?
Another fact is that the distances that the chartered choppers covered were distances a more prudent Governor could have used his convoy fleet of Jeeps and SUVs at far, far lower costs.
While the appetite of Comrade Oshiomhole is to fly over the people at huge costs, there is yet more to be seen from contract award splitting and the racketeering game of Adams Oshiomhole.
The third batch of this publication will include in detail contract documents inflated to cost twice or thrice as much the market prices.