Iyiola Omisore, a former Deputy Governor of Osun State and two-term Senator, and a business, Cartill Construzioni Nigeria Limited, are at the center of an N650 million road project fraud.
The Ife-Ifewara Road in Osun State was awarded in 2010 but never completed.
According to SaharaReporters, Omisore received N151 million from the National Assembly as a constituency project and may have shared it with the company, despite the fact that the road project was not completed for years.
The road was later built as a Corporate Social Responsibility project by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, according to reports.
The church used its construction department to complete the project between August 26, 2016, and February 2019, and the overall cost was around N188 million, as opposed to the N650 million initially quoted by the contractor.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the RCCG General Overseer, is from Ifewara.
Following the completion of the route, the RCCG filed a petition with the Senate on March 24, 2021, claiming that it had reason to believe that the Federal Government had paid N151.51 million to the firm Cartill Construzioni Nigeria Limited for the reconstruction of the Ife-Ifewara Road, which the church had completed.
Pastor Niyi Adebanjo, Secretary to the RCCG General Overseer, said in the petition that after completing the road reconstruction, the church discovered that the firm that had been awarded the contract since 2010 had abandoned the job for over six years after being paid, and that the government should therefore recover the money.
Senator Smart Adeyemi of Kogi West was angry at the Senate committee on public petitions hearing, accusing the company of defrauding Nigerians and the government by failing to complete a 15-kilometer road project that was estimated to cost N650 million in 2010.
“The chairman of the company doesn’t hear English – but he hears naira,” Adeyemi explained. He understands how to get our money. What was the exchange rate when this contract was awarded? You spent N650 million on a 15-kilometer road and couldn’t do anything about it? Our eyes have been opened as a result of this petition. You can’t get money because the work isn’t finished?
“There are a lot of these events that go unnoticed. Because of previous mismanagement of public funds, the economy is bleeding today, and people are suffering. We ought to make the penalties as harsh as possible. I once advocated for life imprisonment for dishonest individuals. The organization that has raised money should be prepared to deal with the repercussions of its actions.”
SaharaReporters learned from reliable sources that Omisore and the firm may have shared the funds, causing the project to be abandoned for six years before RCCG took over.
“Iyiola Omisore was the Senator who got the road contract as a constituency project and moved the money out,” the source said.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said during the hearing that the contract was awarded and the contract amount was paid between 2010 and 2011, four years before the current administration took office.
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.”