The lingering battle on the alleged fraudulent N2.4 billion road contract, continues. It is a deal which was said to have been fraudulently cut almost in half, from 28.4 kilometers to 15.2 kilometers. The local construction company, S.O. Olotu and Sons Nigeria Limited, in a deal with Mr. Leo Ogor Okuweh, the Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, representing Isoko Federal constituency, is said to have taken a new dimension.

The new dimension is that the Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Leo Ogor Okuweh, had boasted and vowed to use his office to ‘block all petitions’ coming to the floor of the House.  That is, petitions related to the road contract situated in his hometown, Ozoro, Isoko in the North local government area of Delta state.

Abandoned Isoko Road ProjectAbandoned Isoko Road Project A SaharaReporters correspondent learned that the bidding for the contract did not follow due process, as well as the downward review of the contract. That review, which is allegedly championed by the deputy majority leader, as such, he has devised several means to knock down, and frustrate, a number of investigations on the contract.

Ejumejowo Anthony Asuotu is an Abuja-based lawyer, who is bent on getting to the bottom of the alleged fraudulent contract. He had rejected a bribe allegedly offered to him by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to keep a ‘sealed lip.’

Political associates close to the deputy majority leader, who have been following the issue of the contract since SaharaReporters exposed it, confided in SaharaReporters, again. They say that the federal lawyer, who is having ‘sleepless nights,’ have vowed that he shall use his office, and connections, to ‘stall any petition’ to the House concerning the contract.

“I must tell you that since the issue of the contract was exposed by SaharaReporters, the deputy majority leader has not tasted sleep. As a matter of fact, he did not bargain for what is happening now, and as we talk, he is running helter-skelter. He got a wind of how some persons are already planning to petition him, in the House of Representatives, and he has vowed to use his position and connection to block any petition that may come to the house concerning the contract,” one of the associates who spoke on the condition of anonymity stated.

According to another associate, “This Ozoro contract issue, no doubt, has put my friend, the deputy majority leader into globe map, (and) painfully in a negative way. Actually, it’s not done anywhere that government instead of (an) upward review of a contract, it will be the other way round. We learned (that) some people have concluded plans to petition the House of Representatives concerning the contract, which is generating so much controversy.

“Though, the deputy majority leader is ready to use his office to make sure those petitions did not see the light of the day. Remember, the deputy majority leader has done it before on the floor of the house, when he used his position and connections to convert the dismissal of his kinsman, Mr. John Kpokpogri.  John Kpokpogri is the current Chief Security Adviser to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, and nine others, who were, in 2006, dismissed from the Navy over illegal oil bunker,” the source continued.

"Through the position and connections of the deputy majority leader, the dismissal was converted to ‘compulsory retirement.’ Let’s watch and see what will happen as far as the issue of the contract is concerned,” the source added.

Meanwhile, NDDC, till date has vehemently refused to release all necessary and vital documents concerning the award of the contract, but rather decided to offer a bribe to an Abuja lawyer probing the contract.

Some have recalled that Senator Francis Spanner Okpozo, and other members of the Ozoro community, had a few months ago, ‘raised the alarm,’ and accused the deputy majority leader, and company officials connected to S.O. Olotu and Sons Nigeria Limited, of defrauding the Ozoro kingdom of billions of naira.

At the time of this report, all calls to the deputy majority leader and short messages were not returned, and ignored.

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