OrderPaperToday – The embattled board chairman of the Product Development Institute (PRODA) Enugu, Mr. Daniel Onje, has accused the Senate and House of Representatives committees on science and technology of aiding and abetting corruption by way of pressuring him to approve payment for illegal jobs done by contractors.
Mr. Onje declared readiness to slug it out with the parliament over what he described as unwarranted attacks on his person by the lawmakers.
The board chairman who is currently being investigated by the House committee on public procurement disclosed this in Abuja on Sunday during a press conference.
Onje, a former official of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) alleged that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, had urged him to pay contractors handling constituency projects of members despite not non-completion of the jobs.
He said “both chairmen of the Senate and House of Reps committees on science and technology have pressurized the Acting DG of PRODA to pay contractors who were illegally and unlawfully issued contract award letters.”
He continued “Some of these contractors were neither given bills of quantities, nor drawings, procurement documents and scope of work, but they claimed they had finished executing their contracts and were demanding for full payment.
“A very desperate one among them claimed to have been awarded a contract to build one of PRODA Zonal Offices in the South West in December, 2020; but alleged that he finished executing the contract in the same December, 2020, however without any contractual documentation.
“We later discovered that what the contractor did was to take a snapshot of an old building with rusty zinc roof somewhere in Osun State, had it repainted, and positioned men attired as technicians inscribing PRODA’s logo on the building.
According to Onje, “that same building had earlier been commissioned by Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who ceased to be the governor of Osun state over 10 years ago!”
It will be recalled that the House committee on public procurement last Wednesday at its investigation hearing on alleged corruption at PRODA directed the ministry of science and technology to disown Onje as the chairman of the agency accusing him of forgery and impersonation.
Mr. Onje had stayed away from the hearing.