Friday 30 December 2022

Ilesa Water Project: Project Consultant vs Osun lawmakers imbroglio

VIDEO: Click on the image to watch

The project consultant for the Ilesa water project, Tawa Williams, on Thursday said some members of the Osun State House of Assembly demanded a bribe of five million dollars from her.

Mrs Williams said the lawmakers demanded to be paid the sum as a “takeaway grant.”

Speaking on Western Spring Television in Osogbo, the consultant said she refused to pay the bribe but the lawmakers persisted in their demand.

Mrs Williams said the lawmakers threatened to blackmail her in the media if she failed to pay the bribe.

She alleged that the lawmakers who approached her for the bribe were led by the Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Nasiru Olateju.

In a swift reaction the Osun State House of Assembly during it’s plenary session on Thursday described the bribery allegation as calculated blackmail against the parliament.

According to the lawmakers on the subject matter is the Chairman, House Committee on Water and Energy Resources, Nasil Olateju denied demanding bribe from the project consultant.

In the same vein, other lawmakers who spoke during the plenary including Deputy Speaker, Olufemi Popoola, Babatunde Ibirogba, Babatunde Desmond Ojo, Adewale Adedoyin, said the allegation was laced with lies and an attempt to disorganize the Assembly.

Other parliamentarians including Isreal Oyekunle, Adeyemi Adewumi, Adebayo Usamot among others, debunked the allegation, saying it was to rubbish their reputation.

Thereafter, a motion was moved by Majority Leader, Maruf Olarewaju that Mrs Williams should retract her statement and it was seconded by Babatunde Ibirogba.

In his reaction, Osun State House of Assembly Speaker, Timothy Owoeye said the parliament would never demand for cash or kind from anyone.

He said the allegation by the Ilesa Water Project consultant was scandalous and uncalled for just as he wondered why Williams, “who has no stake in Osun would be given the contract of that nature.”

Debunking the allegation further in a statement made available to The Point on Thursday evening by Kunle Alabi, Media Aide to the Speaker, the Assembly said it was quite unfortunate that the consultant of the Ilesa water project, Engineer Tawa Williams has “resulted to cheap blackmail in trying to cover up for her incompetence, just like a drowning person who will want to cling to any available straw.”

The statement reads, “recall that sometimes in November during plenary, the Assembly had raised concerns over the poor implementation of the project and the non-execution of a $2m treatment plant, doesn’t it defy logic and common sense that one will request for a $5m bribe on a $2m project?

“Osun House of Assembly will never ask any Agency of government or individual for any gratification before it could adequately discharge it’s constitutional duties.

Hon. Kunle Akande, the media spokesperson of the Osun house of Assembly has equally appeared on Western Spring Television this morning to debunk Tawa Williams allegation while describing it as baseless.

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