Exclusive!! The looting of Lagos by Tinubu and Fashola 3 (Contd)
It is worrisome that the anti-graft body has failed to make public its findings over a year now after confirming that
investigation was ongoing, with the promise that many more arrests were likely to be made then. It smacks of a cover-up that
nothing has been heard since the EFCC extended invitations to three serving commissioners in Lagos State, namely Rotimi
Agunsoye of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Rotimi Oyekan of Finance and Jide Idris of Health. Also invited by the
EFCC in connection with the corruption allegations filed by the True Face of Lagos is the Special Assistant to Fashola on Works and Infrastructure, Ganiu Johnson.
It is indeed remarkable that the petition against Fashola, which led to the arrest of Olowolafe, went to the heart of the
matter as members of the group enunciated their desire, as tax payers and residents , for accountability since taxes have
recently become the major revenue base of the Lagos State Government. According to them, in developed societies where
similar revenue regime operates, associations such as the group have acted as government watchdogs.
The group thus stated: “This is why some of us have decided to take up the gauntlet of championing the cause of taxpayers
in the state. After all, if we don’t pay our taxes, government can charge and eventually jail us.’’
They revealed that in the last 10 years, tax revenue has come to constitute about 75 percent of government revenue base,
yet the government never bothers to render account to taxpayers in Lagos. In the last three years alone, a colossal sum of
N1.1 trillion was budgeted by Fashola’s government, with the government itself affirming that it has consistently recorded a
minimum of 75 percent of budget performance, out of which 80 per cent came from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). This
is 30 percent more than the entire budgets recorded by successive governments between 1992 and 2007, a period
spanning 15 years. The total tax revenue of Lagos last year as the time of making the revelations showed that tax on a
monthly basis hovered between N14 and N17 billion while Federal Allocations stood at N6 billion monthly. This is more than the revenue of seven states in Nigeria put together on a monthly basis.
One question that keeps coming however is how Fashola has been spending the money. According to the group, “While we
note the heavy investments in roads and environmental infrastructure mainly, and commendably so, there is the need to
question some of the ways the governor has been expending tax money which, in our opinion, reflects financial recklessness, mismanagement, gross constitutional violations and abuse of office.” Some of the allegations are as follows:
1. That in 2009, Fashola gave N250 million to the Rotimi Akeredolu-led executive of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) for the
NBA conference held in Lagos, at a time when Lagos teachers and doctors were on strike for improved welfare package.
2. The Babatunde Raji Fashola (BRF) government within six months, January to June 2009, spent N420 million on the hiring of
private security – to guard who? – despite his heavy investment in the Police Force through the State Security Trust Fund.
3. BRF spent N1.5 billion to demolish the Bank of Industry (BOI) building, paying a company introduced by one Tunji Olowolafe in cash transfer, only for him and his cronies to claim the land adjacent to it.
4. The BRF government awarded a part of Western Avenue (Funsho Williams Road), about two kilometres road for N7.7 billion,
just between Abalti Barracks and Costain. And without the construction of any bridge, the project was carried out by Julius Berger. This project must certainly be investigated.
5. Between January and June 2009, the BRF government claimed to have fuelled 225 vehicles in his office alone with N135
million. These figures amount to about N800, 000 per day at a time that petrol was sold for N65 per litre. The government always got fuel cheaper, but BRF claimed to have bought it at N85 per litre.
6. Between January and June 2009, BRF’s Chief of Staff and Personal Assistants expended N290 million in sending text messages and phone calls on their lines.
7. It is also very sad to know that the BRF government awarded the construction of a road and drains inside Gbagada General
Hospital for over N1.8 billion to the same Tunji Olowolafe’s company (DEUX Projects Limited).
8. The sum of N1.5 billion of un-appropriated funds, without approval, was claimed to have been spent on the demolition of Oshodi.
9. The Helicopter Deal was a big fraud. The helicopter was not built for any kind of emergency evacuation, rescue or to even
combat urban fire. Over N5 billion has been spent on the two helicopters. And the seal of Lagos State is not on it, and it is not
even in Lagos but in the Niger Delta making money for some private people in government. The whole helicopter deal stinks to
high heavens; it constitutes the biggest governmental fraud of all times and confirms the rot in the State. See THISDAY December 19, 2009.
10. The Senior Special Assistant , SSA (Media) to BRF spent N183 million in six months on press coverage and editors outside the approved budget but funded directly from the Governor’s Office.
11. In a State where children are sitting on the floor in classrooms, where unemployment is rampant and poverty pervasive,
BRF paid the wife of a controversial pastor over N600 million in two years for Christmas decorations for about six streets in Lagos.
12. In six months, between January and June 2009, BRF spent monies on several faceless organisations, subventions, grants and donations such that they quickly pocketed N2 billion.
Other allegations of the group include:
1. The reckless increase and payment of over 60 percent increase on the LASU – Iba road awarded by the Bola Tinubu
government for N6.2 billion. It was jerked up to N10 billion less than two weeks that BRF came on board.
2. The Tinubu administration awarded the construction of City Hall for N2.3 billion. BRF only changed the floor tiles to marble
tiles and increased the contract sum to N5.2 billion. This project was increased by 126 percent.
3. Publishing of INDICATOR magazine is falsely presented to the public as a private magazine but is actually coordinated by Tunji Olowolafe and Hakeem Bello, SSA (Media) to BRF with government money.
4. BRF recently gave a media-related Permanent Secretary and some others the sum of N100 million to do a soap opera on himself. They are presently in London recording the film.
5. The BRF government has failed woefully in the area of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in three years. Yet, BRF is paying the
PPP boss in Lagos State N2 million per month in violation of the Constitution, when even commissioners recognised by the
Constitution are receiving N300, 000 per month. The PPP guy is the highest paid government official presiding over a non- performing and failed parastatal.
6. The Beautification Programme of Fashola administration is laden with corruption. In a State where there is no water, where
over 90 per cent of the road in Lagos is in a deplorable state of disrepair, he is spending over N13 billion on planting grasses
and flowers. Most of the money was spent to import palm trees from Niger Republic, a Sahel region when Lagos is in the rain forest, which explains why most of them have dried up.
7. It is important to note that the renovation of classrooms of usually 12 blocks-plus-one which was done for N26 million by
the Tinubu administration up till 2007 was increased to N53 million with the collaboration of the housing commissioner who is supervising projects in the education ministry.
8. The CCTV project was awarded to BRF’s relation who claimed to be acting for CISCO. The contract was awarded for
$62 million dollars, while the rejected quote for the contract was $30 million. It is important to note that this is only a pilot scheme.
9. BRF’s wife travels abroad once bi-monthly and takes N30 million per trip from the State coffers, apart from her monthly running cost.
10. The mother of all rip-offs is the award to DEUX PROJECT LIMITED, a company owned by the powerful Tunji Olowolafe,
11 out of 19 contracts in the Lagos State Ministry of Health between January and August 2009. Out of N5.6 billion contract
in the Ministry of Health, Olowolafe alone collected N5.1 billion worth and was paid 70 percent upfront in cash. Here then are the unanswered questions:
1. Why did BRF divert N1.85 billion in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to a project that was not originally provided for in the budget but promptly awarded to Olowolafe?
2. Why is the administration of a lawyer like Fashola illegally deducting funds from the statutory allocation of the Local Governments in Lagos State?
3. Why was the Mayegun Scheme sold to Olowolafe and other friends and cronies against public interest without any
independent valuation by the relevant agency of government? Why is the size of the scheme shielded in secrecy? Why was
N5.2 billion for which the land was sold untraceable? Where is the over N2 billion loan borrowed to sand-fill the place? What is the fate of the tourism and art-craft sellers chased away from the place?
4. Pinnacle – why did the governor and his cronies engage in the questionable transfer of 400 hectares of land to Pinnacle,
South Africa, when it is known that the company is almost bankrupt and the ABSA Bank now owns over 60 percent of the company? What nature of PPP is this?
5. Why was the illegal sand-filling of about one kilometre in the Badagry – Marina awarded for N1.5 billion out of which N700
million has been paid, and yet the contractors and the Tourism Ministry have completely destroyed all the historical relics and
artifacts in the area? It has also created an environmental disaster for West Africa because of greed. And it appears the Commissioner has been settled.
Here’s a list of Fashola’s other alleged constitutional violations:
1. Flagrant and deliberate disregard for the Appropriation Law passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly, in violation of Section 120 of the 1999 Constitution.
2. Criminal diversion of funds without due approval of the Lagos State House of Assembly, in further violation of Section 120 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.
3. Indiscriminate award of contracts without due process, without following the laid down financial regulation as well as the
public procurement guidelines. The payment of such contracts is in violation of Part (E) Section 120(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
5. Illegal and unwarranted deductions from the Statutory Allocation of the Local Governments. This is in direct contravention
of Public Revenue Provision of the 1999 Constitution and in violation of Section 162 sub-section 6, 7 and 8.
8. Indiscriminate borrowing by the Ministry of Finance without legislative approval, which the Finance Commissioner calls
bridging loans, is a grave assault on fiscal federalism, a coup against financial regulations and a shameful and criminal violation of Section 120(1), (2), (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution.
9. Concentration of over 70 percent of Lagos State Government contracts in the hands of one Tunji Olowolafe. This is the
clearest indication of the betrayal of trust by Governor Fashola. It is against the Oath of Office he swore to; it is also a
violation of Sections 14(4), 15(5) and 17(2a) of the 1999 Constitution on which social objective of a just, free and equitable social order is founded.
10. Arbitrary use of Special Expenditure Vote for activities not originally provided for under the Appropriation Law. This is a
further betrayal of fiscal federalism and a violation of provisions of Section 120(3) and (4), and Section 123(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution.
11. Payment of 70 percent up-front to persons and cronies for contracts not yet executed. Similarly, this is a contravention of Section 120(4) of the 1999 Constitution.
12. Giving arbitrary donations to selective professional associations and faceless organisations for acting as sycophants
without appropriate authorisation by relevant constitutional bodies. This is a clear violation of sections 120(4) and 123 of the 1999 Constitution
13. The fraudulent purported acquisition of two Bell 412 EP series helicopters from a Canadian firm constitutes a flagrant violation of Section 123(1) and (2) and Section 120(4) of the 1999 Constitution.
14. Furthermore, the award of contract of courts and other judicial Infrastructure as well as procurement for the judiciary in
Lagos State by the Attorney-General, Tunji Olowolafe and Governor Fashola is in gross violation of Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
In all these aberrations, the Lagos State House of Assembly stands accused of keeping mute which portends that it has
become inept, archaic, drab, docile and inefficient. All the noise by the Assembly Speaker about accountability and probity,
according to the group, was only to enable the legislators line their pockets and feed fat on the sweat and toil of the people of the State.
The two leaders of the True Face of Lagos, Tunde George and Kasali Martins, were forced to go underground to avoid death
threats from parties loyal to Fashola and Tinubu. Challenging the ‘Emperor of Lagos’ and his godson is fraught with all sorts of
dangers. There is a killer gang in their employ known as Team Lagos. The very dangerous group is made up of local thugs and
enforcers, largely belonging to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW). Each member of Team Lagos is paid N1
million every last Tuesday of every month under the coordination of the musician, Wasiu Ayinde Marshall.
As all opposition forces such as the True Face of Lagos challenging the imperial domination of Lagos by Tinubu and Fashola are
faced with threats to their lives by the thugs known as Team Lagos, it has to be stressed that even Tinubu and Fashola have
had their share of quarrels in the sharing of their spoils. The arrest of Olowolafe was said to be the climax of the bitter feud
between Tinubu and his godson over certain fundamental issues, chief among which is the control of finances of the state.
Fashola’s nemesis, as it were, was his complaint about the huge monthly deductions of over N3 billion from the state coffers
every month as consultancy fee by Tinubu’s tax company, Alpha Beta, from the almost N30 billion internally generated
revenue (IGR). Fashola would have been consigned to history, never to be returned as the flag-bearer of the party for the governorship elections of 2011.
From the foregoing therefore, there is no doubt that the regime of corruption in Lagos initiated by Emperor Tinubu and
continued by his godson Fashola has put the South-west state in a serious deficit.
Posted on December 2, 2012, in News, Politics and tagged Babatunde Fashola, Bola Tinubu, BRF, BRF government, Fashola, Ikoyi, Lagos, Lagos State, lion of Bourdillon, Nigeria. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.