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Calls for sack of Tunji-Ojo heightens amidst N438 million contract scandal

Calls for the sack of the minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo by President Bola Tinubu continue following allegations that his company, New Planet Projects Limited was a beneficiary of a NN3 billion largesse contracts awarded to some companies under questionable circumstance scandal by suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affa Barrister Vera Ndanusa irs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Betta Edu.

Citing conflict of interest as a major reason why the minister’s company ought not to have bidded for the contract, if there was ever a bidding done, Lawyer and Lead Director, Center for Social Justice, (CSJ), Eze Onyekpere, said that the minister should in good faith resign or be suspended to pave way for investigation because his action is a clear breach of the public procurement laws.

In a chat with The Guardian, he said, “Looking at the time of the contracts award and the timeframe of delivery, you will know that this is just job for the boys. The jobs were supposed to be advertised and then people will bid, selected and then the contracts were supposed to be awarded to them but I have not heard that such was done.

According to him, ”There is this term called revolving doors and the idea of revolving doors is that if you are a minister and I am also a minister, I can tell you to give line five million worth of job and I will also retaliate when the opportunity comes so there is a conflict of interest in what they have done.

“The section of the law, (section ), which talks about conflict of interest means that the fact that it is not whether his name is still there as a director but who is the beneficial owner at the end of the day in terms of the company’s net profit or loss? These are the questions so to tell Nigerians that it is your wife that it is your wife or husband that is a director, is there any difference? That company should have no business receiving government contracts.

So there is a conflict of interest here, they should actually query him and they should actually force him to resign or decide to fire him or warn deciding on the evidence.”

Director of the Nigerian Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Barrister Vera Ndanusa, is of view that the minister can only be culpable if due process is contravened.

Meanwhile former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani has been quoted in the media saying that “Going by the facts presented by Hon Ojo, he had since 2019 resigned from the company that was mentioned as beneficiary.”

He argued that “could have been a conflict of interest if he hadn’t resigned.”

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