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Unholy Men: Lagos Newly Appointed Commissioner, Abayomi Samson Oluyomi, Suspected Commissioner of Police, Bankole Lanre Fingered In N117 Million Contracts

Secrets Reporters

An investigation conducted by SecretsReporters has revealed a troubling trend in the procurement practices of Lagos State, shedding light on potential violations of both legal statutes and ethical norms. Despite the presence of comprehensive legislation such as the Public Procurement Act of 2007 and the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, which aim to regulate the process of awarding contracts and ensure transparency, recent revelations suggest a systemic failure to uphold these standards.

The Public Procurement Act of 2007, specifically Section 58, imposes stringent penalties, including imprisonment for up to five or ten years, for individuals found guilty of awarding contracts without due process. Similarly, Section 38 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007 prohibits contracts that do not adhere to established procurement rules. Furthermore, the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act of 2007 unequivocally prohibits government officials from engaging in self-dealing or favoritism in the awarding of contracts.

Despite these legal safeguards, instances of nepotism, cronyism, and conflicts of interest have surfaced in recent contract awards within Lagos State, raising serious concerns about the integrity of the procurement process and the stewardship of public funds. On 13th June 2023, for instance, the Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation awarded a contract valued at N17,800,000.00 to Sonikaz International Limited to procure demonstration materials for nineteen skill acquisition centers. Shockingly, investigations uncovered that one of the key directors of Sonikaz International Limited is Bankole Lanre, a serving Commissioner of Police in the Nigerian Police Force.

Similarly, on 31st July 2023, the Office of Internal Audit awarded a substantial contract worth N100,000,000 to implement a transformation agenda to Marina Consulting Limited. Digging deeper, it was discovered that among the key directors of Marina Consulting Limited is Abayomi Samson Oluyomi, who had recently been confirmed as a commissioner nominee by the Lagos State House of Assembly. This revelation raises serious questions about the independence and impartiality of the contracting process, as well as the potential for undue influence and favoritism.

Moreover, a separate incident dating back to June 2022 further underscores the prevalence of conflicts of interest in contract awards within Lagos State. The Office of Drainage Services & Water Resources awarded a contract to Stoneworks Limited for the maintenance dredging of primary channels. Investigations revealed that the owner of Stoneworks Limited, Odukaya Sesan Moses, holds a prominent position as a Principal Officer in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, serving as the Head of Department for the Oil and Gas Department. This apparent intertwining of public office and private interests raises fundamental questions about accountability, transparency, and the equitable allocation of resources.

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