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WATER PROJECT: Suspended consultant alleges Osun Assembly demanded $5m bribe



The allegation levelled against the consultant in charge of the $106 million Ilesa water project in Osun, Tawa Williams, which had led to her suspension by the state government, has taken a new turn.

Mrs Williams on Thursday alleged that the Osun State House of Assembly Committee on Water demanded a $5 million bribe from her.

The consultant also faulted the state government probing the project over failure to thoroughly study the project report submitted by its committee.

Governor Ademola Adeleke had on Wednesday endorsed the recommendation of the committee set up to investigate the project and suspended the consultant.

The governor also ordered detailed investigation into the project and requested the consultant to return the N75 million project vehicle in her possession.

However, the consultant in a Western television programme in Osogbo, disclosed that the project was blackmailed because of her refusal to pay the money allegedly requested by the Chairman, House Committee on Water, Nasiru Olateju.

She said: “The House of Assembly members visited us in 2020 and gave us kudos, but what changed their position about us, I don’t know. Though, there were some demands on us that we can’t meet. The house is asking for $5millon and I told them we don’t have much money to give to anyone. They were asking for a takeaway bribe else they will go to the press and blackmail us that the quality of work done was not good.

READ ALSO:$106M LOAN: Osun govt sacks consultant for Ilesa water project, begins probe

“The request was not from House as a whole but House Committee on Water Supply with its chairman. I told them that I only have money to execute the project, not for a bribe. They demanded the money after the exit of Adegboyega Oyetola as the Governor.”

In response to the allegation, the House of Assembly speaker, Timothy Owoeye, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Kunle Alabi, accused the consultant of blackmail and threatened to take her to court.

He said: “It is quite unfortunate that the consultant of Ilesa water project, Tawa Williams, has resorted to cheap blackmail in trying to cover up her incompetence, just like a drowning person who will want to cling to any available straw.

“It will be recalled that sometime in November during plenary, the Assembly had raised concerns over the poor implementation of the project and the non-execution of a $2 million treatment plant, doesn’t it defy logic and common sense that one will request for a $5million bribe on a $2million project?

“The House of Assembly under the leadership of Mr Timothy Owoeye has given Tawa Williams 24hours to retract her bribery allegation against the committee of the Assembly, her failure to do that within the said hours, the Assembly shall be forced to seek redress in court as no amount of blackmail will stop the Assembly from playing its constitutional role.

“Osun House of Assembly will never ask any agency of government or individual for any gratification before it could adequately discharge its constitutional duties.”

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