Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, representing Oluyole Federal Constituency of Oyo State in the House of Representatives, has said the allegation that she inflated the contract sum of a road rehabilitation project in her constituency is false.
Earlier, a report that went viral accused Akande-Sadipe of instructing officials of the Federal Ministry of Works to inflate a 45 kilometre road project from N9 billion to N54 billion in order to dupe the nation.
In the report, the lawmaker was exposed at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja by the contractor handling the project, DC Engineering Limited.
However, hitting back at the contractor on Tuesday, the lawmaker lamented that DC Engineering Ltd has been unable to deliver the road project that was awarded to it five years ago despite being mobilized substantially.
She listed the roads as Olojuoro, Ijebu-Igbo, Ita Egba, Owonomwen, adding that several petitions have been written by her constituents, prompting her to sponsor a motion calling for investigation as the road got deplorable with serious human casualties on daily basis due to accidents.
Her motion urged “the House to establish an Ad-Hoc Committee to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the consistent failure of the contractors to fulfill their contractual obligations.
“The investigation should specifically focus on the construction and rehabilitation of the Olomi Olojuoro road, referred to as the Ijebu-Igbo Ita Egba-Owonowen Ibadan road, with the following contracts and budget allocations.”
Expressing disappointment, Akande-Sadipe claimed the company is trying to blackmail her after failing to deliver the contract that was awarded to it since 2018.
A paper she presented at the public hearing on the road project partly read, “My attention has been drawn to a letter dated 29th August, 2023 written by the solicitors to DC Engineering Limited Co and Oba (King) Adesegun Alowonle, the Emure of Ijebu, the person believed to be the owner of the company.
“This letter accused me of total falsehood in an attempt to steer this hallowed committee away from, the true situation on ground with regards to Olojuoro, Ijebu-Igbo, Ita Egba, Owonowen road in Oluyole Federal Constituency.
“The letter did not address the substance of the several petitions and motions in anyway, including the most recent of 13th July, 2023, rather what they went into was to disparage my person and smear my name and engage in scandalous defamation of my character by alleging that my objective in intervening on behalf of Oluyole is to promote a particular contractor – Aereatech Nigeria Limited, to the Federal Ministry of Works.”
The lawmaker denied having any “direct or indirect relationship with the said contractor, and I am not in any way related to the said contractor. I have never introduced any such contractor and have never inflated any contract”.
In addition, the lawmaker alleged that the competence of DC Engineering calls for investigation given that some parts of the road project were sub-let to other minor construction firms in contravention of the contractual terms.
Akande-Sadipe further recalled how she initiated an inspection visit to the site in 2021 with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Works, the Commissioner of Public Complaints Commission and representatives of DC Engineering Limited, only to discover that the company was accused of collecting money from communities to fix feeder road culverts which were removed in the course of the rehabilitation work.