ICPC lied, no constituency project items recovered from me – Sen. Buruji Kashamu
A former Senator, who represented Ogun East in the eighth National Assembly has debunked a statement credited to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) that it had recovered three ambulances and a 500KVA transformer which were Constituency Project items from him.
ICPC had in a statement Thursday, said ‘the items were part of 2016 Constituency Projects meant to be distributed to Ogun East Senatorial District.”
The commission said the items were allegedly discovered by its Constituency Project Tracking Team at Kashamu’s Constituency Project Office in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, after a tip-off by a constituent, a statement signed by the commission’s spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, said.
But Kashamu said “no items were recovered” from his constituency office in Ijebu-Ode, noting that “it is shameful ICPC could turn round to claim recovery of items that had earlier been reported to it.”
The former lawmaker said, “Rather, the items that were handed over to ICPC officials were delivered at the constituency office in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State. The items were delivered to the Constituency office in Ijebu-Igbo by the contractors late in 2017.”
Kashamu, speaking through his Media Aide, Austin Oniyokor, in a statement made available to DAILY POST on Friday, alleged that his former Senior Legislative Aide (SLA), one Onadeko Onamusi, “abused his position and influenced the award of 18 out of the 21 constituency projects to two of his (the SLA’s) companies – Stanton Nigeria Limited and Haines & Baines Nigeria Limited.”
Oniyokor said, “Alarmed at the discovery, Senator Kashamu issued a query to Onamusi and terminated his appointment. Thereafter, the matter was reported to the ICPC. The ICPC investigated the matter, arrested and charged Onamusi to court.”
According to the Oniyokor, the former legislative aide was reportedly arraigned by ICPC on an 18-count charge.
“In fact, on the 28th of November, 2018, the ICPC through its spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, issued a statement wherein it announced that it had charged Onamusi to court over N68.7million contract scam.
“In the statement, the ICPC said Onamusi was arraigned before Justice C. N. Oji of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Apo, Abuja, on 18 counts.
“Onamusi was accused of using his companies to execute several contracts for the National Assembly.” he said.
‘So, for any objective mind, it should not be difficult to understand that there was no way the distribution of the items could have continued since they had become a subject of litigation and could be used as evidence. It is even more so when part of the senator’s complaint was that the contractor supplied Volvo hearse instead of supplying ambulances.
“This was the situation until Senator Kashamu served out his term of office in June, 2019. It is instructive that the items were not diverted or taken anywhere for the personal use of the senator or any of his associates.
“So, if the matter the ICPC took to court had been determined one or the other, what it should have done was for the items to be delivered to the beneficiaries and not this unnecessary melodrama by the commission.
“The three Volvo hearse and transformer were not hidden. They have always been in the open within the expansive compound of Senator Kashamu’s Constituency office in Ijebu-Igbo. So, there could not have been any recovery.
“It is shameful that the same agency that got Onamusi arrested, investigated and charged to court over the same items could turn round to claim recovery of the items that had been reported to it on the basis of some unfounded “intelligence”.
“If anything, Senator Kashamu should be commended for his rare patriotic step of reporting his aide to the ICPC for allegedly abusing his position as a Senior Legislative Aide.
“All of these are in the public domain and can be verified at the ICPC and FCT High Court, Abuja,” the statement added.