The decision of the Lagos State Government to buy back the Lekki-Epe Expressway and its toll plazas from the concessionaire as well as acquire the company, Lekki Construction Company (LCC) is giving the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cause for concern because the move is a “belated exercise, a monumental fraud, and diversionary.”
The Lagos PDP has therefore called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to commence beam their search light on the contract, insisting that its details were deliberately made secret to Lagos taxpayers.
In a statement Sunday, the party’s spokesman, Taofik Gani, alleged that though the buy-back looked commendable on the face value, it is indeed “a big fraud, extortionate and one step meant to enrich the governor and his predecessor ab-initio.”
According to him, “this buy-back is an after-thought that cannot cure the fact that ab-initio, the road contract was deliberately imposed on the Lagos State Government to enrich (Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola and his predecessor, two people who are so believed to be behind the toll company.
“It is now very imperative to lift the veil of incorporation of the company for the public to know, claiming that the company, like many others in the state, is a front for the governor and his predecessor to steal in government. Stealing in the state has become a norm as far as it is committed by the governor or his predecessor.”
The Lagos PDP further noted that the Fashola-led administration deliberately allowed the toll company to start collection of tolls in a road contract just a bit above 30 per cent completion and particularly lacking the expected coastal road, adding that all the necessities on the road are absent save for the massive, aesthetic toll plazas.
Gani spoke further: “We have demanded the details of the road contract and were told the Governor’s Office was keeping it secret while also shielding the toll company. Our demand is because Lagosians ought to know the terms of such contract and probably critique the absurdities that may be contained therein.
“This sudden decision by the governor is thus only diversionary and we demand that he explains why they now have to pay for a road actually constructed by a former governor in 1978 and free of toll plaza.”
The party further alleged that, “the decision to buy-back the tainted road contract is just a conduit pipe to convert money into the pockets of the governor and his predecessor, both of whom are now so engrossed in sponsoring the All Progressives Congress (APC) in order to further their ambitions.
“We thus call on EFCC and the ICPC to immediately commence a probe into the contract buy-back. We must be told how much has been expended by the operator company on the rehabilitation, how much has been paid, how much is the expected reasonable commission for such investment, and above all, who are the owners of the operator company?” Gani asked.