Oyo Assembly Alleged Car Fraud: EFCC Nabs Former Clerk, Felicia Ogundiran, Passes Night At Commission’s Office

Former Clerk, Oyo State House of Assembly, Felicia Oyediran with Speaker, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin

Former Clerk of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Miss Felicia Oyediran is currently undergoing questioning at the state’s office of the Economic Finance and Crime Commission (EFCC).

The Commission extended an invitation to the former Clerk over the ongoing investigation of the alleged over N1 billion cars’ fraud.

Oyediran, who retired from the active service, last year, was in charge when cars in question were purchased for the lawmakers. She has been in the custody of the Commission since Tuesday and brought the number of the assembly’s staff in the custody to two.

The Commission last Thursday drilled some management staff of the House of Assembly over the alleged N1.03 billion purchase of refurbished vehicles for the lawmakers.

It will be recalled that a former prosecutor with the Special Presidential Panel on Recovery of Public Property, Tosin Ojaomo, had in January this year petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over allegations of a scam in the purchase of about N1.03 billion worth of official cars for members of the Oyo State House of Assembly.

According to the petition dated December 7, 2020, the contract, which was executed by a firm (name withheld), was for the procurement of 33 Toyota Camry cars for the House members and the Clerk at N759 million as well as two Toyota Hilux pick-up vans for the Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, at N40m.

The petition revealed that two Toyota Prado Land Cruiser SUVs valued at N106 million were also purchased for the Deputy Speaker, Abiodun Fadeyi and as Ogundoyin’s back-up vehicles.

Ojaomo, in his petition, alleged that the contract was for the supply of new 2019 vehicle models but noted that refurbished models with cleaned-up mileage were supplied instead.

The lawyer claimed that the contract was fraudulently arranged to favour the contractor instead of Elizade Motors and Mandilas Motors which also tendered quotations.

He added that the alleged scam was discovered when some of the 33 cars supplied by the contractor started having mechanical and electrical problems a few days after delivery to the lawmakers.

Ojaomo, therefore, in the petition asked the EFCC to recover the full contract sum from the firm.

The petition reads, “My petition stemmed from recent findings that the sum of N1,031,380,000 earmarked by the Oyo State Assembly for the purchase of vehicles for honourable members of the house was diverted by the Speaker and Deputy Speaker with the connivance of a company contracted to handle the purchase and supply of cars to the House members.

“The contract was awarded for the supply of brand new Toyota Camry 2019 models but instead of supplying new cars, he went ahead to supply refurbished vehicles and clean up the mileage in order to make them look like new ones.”

In his reaction, Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon Adebo Ogundoyin said that the Assembly has nothing to hide as regards the petition forwarded to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC by a former Prosecutor with the Special Presidential Panel on Recovery of Public Property, Tosin Ojaomo.

The Speaker noted that the EFCC is doing its job by inviting some management staff of the state’s assembly.

Hon. Ogundoyin said it was not out of place for the officials of the EFCC to question the leadership of the House in this regard.

According to him, “It was true that the EFCC invited the Clerk but her Deputy stood in for her, the Director of Administration and Supplies and the Director of Finance and Accounts last Thursday and they responded accordingly. To me, this is in continuation of their investigation on the petition. We are fully cooperating with the Anti-graft Agency and we will never hinder, disturb nor undermine the work of the commission. The 9th Oyo Assembly passed the Anti-graft Agency Bill and this led to the Agency being domiciled in the State.

“I am ready to visit the EFCC if invited. As the Speaker, I will surely answer any question relating to the Contract. We followed due process in the purchase of the Vehicles in line with the laid down procedures. We have since taken the petition in good faith. The petition is a strength to democracy. It is not strange to us as democrats who take transparency and accountability as our watchwords. We were transparent and we will continue to be” The Speaker said.

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