Saturday, June 20, 2020

SETTING THE RECORDS STRAIGHT On VVIP Guest House: Alleged Financial Impropriety, Nigerian Civil Society Desk Kicks, Says Mr. Idemude Amour, A Correspondent With The National Mirror Newspaper's Investigative Reports Was Sketchy, Childish And False.

....As  Group's National Coordinator, Comrade Friday Emeh, National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Peter Nwokolo Sets  the Records Straight.

By Victor Bieni

ASABA- A group under the aegies of Nigerian Civil Society Desk has reacted and termed as sketchy,  Childish and false the recent investigative reports credited to one Mr Amour Idemude, a Correspondent with National Mirror Newspapers on alleged financial impropriety leveled against Mr. Eddy Ogidi-Gbegbaje, Permanent Secretary, Directorate of Government House and Protocol, Asaba, Delta State, which was  reported by Sahara Reporters and stated that the said report was  an attempt to smear the  reputation of Government House PS thereby causing distraction.

The group in a press statement made available to Newsmen in Asaba Delta state capital today being 20th of June, 2020 was signed by the duo of its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Friday Emeh and Comrade Peter Nwokolo stated that though the motive is still sketchy, that they  thought it necessary to put the records straight and discourage prospective faceless alarmists from creating confusion with the intention of derailing the activities of Government.

The leadership stated that its own investigation  on the reports found Amour's reports to be a complete fallacy, childish and very sketchy not detailed, not the true position of the entire episode, that  the group  Having resolved to know the facts, visited the Office of the Directorate of Government House and Protocol, Asaba, the Ministry of Housing, the Ministry of Energy and the State Fire Service.

 Nigerian Civil Society Desk Stated that their  findings revealed, among others:
that the renovation of the VVIP Guest House, Asaba, comprising of 8(nos) Duplexes, which is the subject of the allegation, was carried out in 2017, by contract through the selective tendering process;
that the renovation works is the only major works so far carried out on the buildings within the premises since 2015.

Also that two separate fire incidents had earlier occurred at House 1 and House 5 of the 8 (eight) Duplexes at the VVIP Guest House, prior to the incident of Tuesday, 21st February, 2017.

 The group added that this  necessitated the extensive renovation and electrical maintenance works; that the State Fire Service was always on hand to put out the fire on each occasion, while the Ministry of Energy was duly notified of the fire incidents; and that the Contractor is yet to be paid for the job it executed.

 The group Leadership stated further that Nigeria Civil Society Desk has also verified this claim with the Ministry of Housing which supervised and issued Certificate of Job Completion.

 Thee CSO Group has quoted the Government House Permanent Secretary and Protocols to have said that: "As the Accounting Officer of the Directorate of Government House and Protocol, Asaba, one of the responsibilities of the Permanent Secretary is to author memos to His Excellency, the Governor, on matters as considered necessary. In this case, the Permanent Secretary forwarded a memo for the renovation works based on a Bill of Quantities (BOQ) received from the Ministry of Housing.
As an investigative journalist, Mr. Idemude Amour should have exhausted all means of exhuming his facts before they are reported, bearing in mind the implications of his false reportage on the person of Mr. Ogidi-Gbegbaje".

The press statement reads in parts: "We are therefore constrained to ask Mr. Idemude Amour to visit the Ministry of Housing which supervised the renovation works in 2017 to find out the extent of works at the VVIP Guest House".

 "He should also visit the Ministry of Energy, possibly to confirm if reports of fire incidents at the VVIP Guest House were made by the Directorate. Mr. Idemude Amour can also corroborate the report he would get from the Ministry of Energy, by visiting the State Fire Service".

"Having said these, will it be appropriate to state that the buildings which were destroyed by fire were only painted, and could possibly be ideal to accommodate personalities like the Commander, 63 Brigade, the State Commissioner of Police and other top Government Functionaries?
Mr. Idemude Amour, you know too well that we must be guided by conscience in all we do, as whatever we give so also we shall receive".

 "Conscience is like an open wound, it is only truth that can heal it. You owe all men a duty of care".

"Our advice to Mr. Idemude Amour would be that he should carry out due diligence of his claims and  and let the World know his findings".

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