Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty Anti-corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various Anti-graft agencies in the fight against corruption and contribute towards the enthronement of transparency, accountability, probity and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.
Premium Times reported on August 8, 1015 that, a publication on Lagos State public procurement office’s website for 2014 showed that, the former Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, while in office, purportedly used N73.3 million of Lagos State funds to upgrade his personal website.
According to Premium Times, the contract for the refurbishing of the former governor’s personal website, www.tundefashola.com, was awarded to “Info Access Plus Limited”, by the office of the chief of Staff of the governor and; that interestingly, for a company that specialises on building and upgrading websites, a Google search for Info Access Plus, revealed that the company has no website of its own. In addition, after consultations with technology experts, Premium Times found that, www.tundefashola.com, created by the firm for the past immediate governor, is a WordPress website therefore; an upgrade could not have cost more than N300, 000.
Premium Times further related that, the 2014 document on the Lagos State public procurement office’s website revealed that the immediate past administration is shrouded with many other questionable expenditures including:
1. The N1.2 billion vaguely spent on the “construction of pedestrian bridges along Oti-Osa Lekki-Epe Expressway” which did not specify the number of bridges;
2. The N17 million awarded contract for the provision of wall signage in three magistrate courts;
3. The N3.46 billion spent for the construction of a beach resort in Ilase;
4. The N61 million disbursed for a Range Rover SUV and 2 Toyota Hilux trucks as the official vehicle of the Chief Judge of the State;
5. The N85 million used for the repair and replacement of street signs;
6. The N330 million expended for the development of the residence of Mr. Fashola’s deputy, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and;
7. The N94 million spent on “printer consumables”.
8. Approval of N78.3million for update and maintenance of a personal website for Mr. Fashola and which the implementing, info Access plus limited, company has publicly acknowledged the receipt of less than N10million for the job.
Furthermore, in an interview with The Punch on 6th August, 2015 and published by The Punch on 7th August, 2015 on its website, the Executive Chairman of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL), Mr. Debo Adeniran stated that another civil society organization, Socio-Economic Right Accountability Project (SERAP) concerned about the high number of dilapidated schools in the state, invoked the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act to know how the Fashola government spent the $200m World Bank education funds, but that the state government allegedly refused to disclose it; basing non-disclosure on self interpreted assertion that the FOI Act does not apply to state governments, a claim trashed by several rulings of different high courts across the country.
Also, Mr. Adeniran said independent investigations by his organisation showed that the 1.36km Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge which was purportedly built for N25bn under Mr. Fashola’s administration, cost only N6bn.
However, Mr. Debo Adeniran stated in that interview that, despite the several petitions that had been written to your Commission to probe the various projects of the Fashola government in face of the over N500 billion debt left behind by the administration, the Commission had continued to ignore all petitions notwithstanding that the former governor no longer enjoys immunity.
CSNAC is hereby requesting that these allegations against the former governor of Lagos State be thoroughly investigated and the falsity or verity be proven. We would like to believe that this petition would be given utmost attention as speculations in the media and among the general public is that members of the governing party currently enjoy special consideration and therefore not investigated by the anti-corruption agencies. This perception, if allowed to fester, will be detrimental and dangerous to the ‘spirit of the new wave in fight against corruption led by the current administration.
We thank you in anticipation of your usual swift action on this matter.