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.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Governor Ademola Adeleke suspended Mrs Williams from her role over alleged mismanagement of the $106 million project fund.
But on the television programme monitored by our reporter, 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.
“The House is asking for five million dollars and I said I don’t have five million dollars to give to anybody. They asked for it for themselves. They are asking for a takeaway grant and they are saying that they will go to the press and say that the quality of work that we have done is not good,” she said.
“I told them that one year ago, you were on the site. You were commending us. Now, you will go back to the press and say we have not done well. What would be your reason?
“Yes. They demanded the bribe. I am saying it with all sense of responsibility. It did not come from the House as a whole. The Chairman of the House Committee on Water Supply and members of his committee called us to the meeting. They were saying that we didn’t give them money, and I was saying we do not have money to give to them. The money I have is to do the job.”
She also denied the allegation of spending N75 million to buy a bulletproof car, claiming that the car she uses cost N45 million.
When contacted to react to Mrs Williams’ allegations, Laide Lawal, the Director of Information at the House of Assembly, said the Speaker will react at the plenary.
“You will wait for the House reaction on that. We are yet to have our plenary, when we have our plenary the House will do the needful, Mr speaker will react to that definitely,” he said.
“Anytime from now, we will go into the floor, then you will hear from us.”
The funds for the water project was sourced from loans obtained from the Islamic Development Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
IDP committed $65 million while the Federal Government gave $41.94 million.
The project was started by the administration of Rauf Aregbesola as governor of the state.
However, parts of the project funds were paid during the administration of former governor Gboyega Oyetola.
On November 22, the state House of Assembly summoned the consultant, contractor and Ministry of Water Resources over delay in completion of the over eight-year old project.
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