A civil society organisation, the Competent Governance for Accountability and Civic Trust (CGACT), has described as misleading and unfounded the allegations that Edwin Ogidi Gbegbaje, the Permanent Secretary and Directorate of Protocol Delta State Government House, Asaba, singlehandedly performed the functions of MDAs.
The CSO said the allegation flying about is geared towards defaming the officer, based on its findings.
The group said that these allegations against the Perm. Sec. include, painting of two buildings at the VVIP Guest House, Asaba, purchase of 30 hampers, furnishing of Governor’s Office Annex, Warri, furnishing of the Office of Her Excellency, wife of the Executive Governor, purchase of ‘golden spoons’ for godfathers and procurement of DICENTIS Wireless Conference System microphone (BOSCH).
CGACT pointed to the fact that there are procedures in awarding Government contract at all levels of Government, be it, Local, State or Federal which include that all contracts have to go through Government bureaucracy.
“It’s apparent that there are some disgruntled officials within the Government house who are working against the interest of the State who is trying to take advantage of gullible/lazy individuals, who find it difficult to make their own findings on an issue,” a statement signed by Amb. Godwin Erheriene, the group convener said.
“However, we all know the protocols in Government, as Permanent Secretary in MDAs are the accounting officers and required by rules to sign cheque and disburse funds.
“The Permanent Secretary do not have the requisite prerequisite to approve project neither do the office draw up Bill Of Quantities (BOQs)/Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME) all this requires the inputs and reports from respective MDAs as the case may be: the State Executive Council, His Excellency, the Governor, His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, Honourable Commissioner and the Secretary to the State Government.
“Furthermore, Certificate of completion of works for the project must be issued by the affected MDA or Audit Certificate issued by the Office of the Auditor-General (State), for procurements made.
“This being the case, how then can the office of the Permanent Secretary and Directorate of Protocol, single-handedly carry out all these activities being arrogated to him?
Debunking the allegation that the VVIP jobs were not fully executed and monies stolen, CGACT said its findings showed that the property renovation works were done out by contract with inputs from Ministry of Housing and the State Fire Service.
The CSO said that it findings also showed that job assessments and certificates of job completion were issued by the appropriate MDA, a thorough research has been carried out in this regard.
“Leaks do unmitigated damage to Government and are the easiest way to destroy the reputation of persons. The report published is so amateur and has failed to impress the public, except the gullible ones. They are deliberate attempt to achieve a purpose.
“The State Government must take care of its backyard because that is where most damaging leaks come from.”