… Denies allegations of graft in N302 million RoW contracts

Tayo AFOLABI

The Surveyor General of the Federation (SGF), Mr Samuel Taiwo, has lamented “since I was appointed, it had been petitions upon petitions”.

Taiwo made this known while denying any involvement in any act of impropriety in the award of Right of Way (RoW) contracts amounting to N302 million.

The Auditor-General was speaking with newsmen in his office in Abuja over petitions filed against him at the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offence Commission, (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

He said the projects were executed as ongoing projects under the supervision of the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN).

Taiwo, who said he had barely spent one and half years in office as the surveyor-general, dismissed allegations of graft and impropriety against him and officials of the extra-ministerial department.

Taiwo said he had paid his dues as a committed and forthright civil servant for more than 33 years.

The petition was filed against him by Al-Mahdi and Co. Mallittafi Chambers, Abuja, was also copied the Minister of Works and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

He asserted that he had done nothing wrong since his appointment in 2019.

“Let me tell you since I was appointed, it had been petitions upon petitions. Some people even petitioned that I wanted to tamper with my age. Yet, the good thing is that our achievements here have put this department in the positive reckoning, ” he said.

The SGF said there was no iota of truth in the allegations contained in the petitions, stressing that he had not committed any infractions by executing projects that were appropriated in the budget for the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation.

The petitions, were, however, raised from the auditor’s queries on projects executed by the agency some of which pre-dated his appointment.

It was also discovered that the procurement officer, who signed some of the contracts in question passed away early in the year.

The RoW contracts were said to be ongoing in some parts of the country.

Highlights of the petitions were payment of N10 million as rent to Surveyor Council of the Federation, awards and execution of N302 million Right of Way contract without passing through due process and award of N92 million contract to companies not qualified for the jobs, among others.

The petitions signed by Mr Emeka Nwabuchie were sent to the anti-graft agencies as well as the supervising minister and the Head of Service of the Federation.

Taiwo said he was ready to defend himself in any court as he had nothing to hide.

He said the presence of all his directors and other staff at the briefing was testimony that the operations of the agency under him were transparent and in the best interest of the country.

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