The origin of Tinubu vs Ambode crises

On July 2014 Tinubu formally informed Fashola of his intention to
back Ambode in the presence of Oba Akinolu. The dumb-folded
Fashola, according to reliable sources, was said to have left the
meeting without uttering a word.
Since his day of inauguration till few weeks ago, Ambode, like
Fashola, takes instructions on every developmental policy from
Tinubu. All the 40-member state executive council were
singlehandedly handpicked by Tinubu and handed to Ambode to
swear in. The 57 council chairmen, board members of
commissions and parastatals, including permanent secretaries and
directors were appointed by Tinubu for Ambode.
All major contracts approved by the state executive council were
drafted by consultants working for Tinubu via Ambode to sign.It is
alleged that no road is awarded in Lagos State without the
blessing of Tinubu.
times without number, the Governor emeritus with his house
situated at 1, Bourdillion Road, Ikoyi, had overruled several
contracts awarded by Ambode without his blessing among them is
the procurement of an OB VAN worth N1.5billion and Cameras
worth N900million for Lagos State owned Television, LTV aimed
towards improving its services and coverage.
However, when Tinubu got the hint of the contract through a top
Director in LTV (name withheld), he was said to have put a phone
call to Ambode that the contract be suspended the pending further
instruction from him but Ambode, backed by a cabal led by his
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde, who
is now in-charge of Ministry of Art and Tourism, urged the
governor to ignore Tinubu, a decision which he (Ambode) indeed
took and proceeded to award the contract against the instruction
of his godfather.
Like a usual African godfather, Tinubu wasn’t pleased that his
ordered was rebuffed but he overlooked the contract which he had
thought would be executed by an Ondo man who served him when
he was Governor.
However, month after months and after two years the contract
was awarded, the OB VAN, is yet to be delivered while the
Cameras, though delivered, falls below expectation and failed due
process and quality and assurance control integrity test.
The contractor, a Lebanese hired to supply the OB VAN by the
Steve Ayorinde led Cabal of the information unit of the state
government, according to reliable sources, was paid 50% upfront
to purchase the OB VAN, Cameras and other gadgets from a
British Firm called Excellence Transmission Inc Limited based in
Manchester, United Kingdom with an agreement to complete the
payment within six months after payment of first instalment.
The OB VAN, according to the agreement paper signed between
Excellence Transmission Inc Limited and LTV, was expected to be
released upon completion of payment by Lagos State Government.
Out of Two Billion Four Hundred Million Naira (N2.4billion), a sum
of One Billion, two hundred million naira (N1.2billion) which was
50% of the contract sum was released on the order of Ambode.
However, while 50% of the Cameras were released, the OB VAN
was not released until full payment is made as agreed. Meanwhile,
the cameras, upon delivery were confirmed to be substandard and
fell below standard, contradicting the sole purpose which the
cameras were bought.
The existing cameras of the station were said to be of higher
quality than the ones supplied from England. Two Directors from
the station, backed by Tinubu were said to have refused to sign the
due process paper confirming that the cameras were delivered as
agreed in the contract paper.
The refusal of these two Directors of LTV, whose name was
concealed by this writer, was said to have angered the governor
who ordered their transfer out of LTV. New Directors were posted
to LTV to sign the due process paper for the cameras which are
currently rusting away at the station situated along Agindigbi road,
Ikeja.
Three months after the resumption of the two directors posted to
cover the fraud at LTV, another set of senior staff jointly wrote a
memo to Steve Ayorinde, asking for the where-about of the
remaining cameras and when the OB VAN would be delivered.
Ayorinde, according to insiders, rushed to the governor to show
him the memo containing some scratching remarks which goes as
thus “Sir, the rest of the cameras were ought to have been
delivered two months ago with our OB VAN but despite several
letters written, no response from Mr. Delkash Farez, the Lebanese
hired by your office to purchase the gadgets on behalf of our
station”, a paragraph in the memo from five top staff of LTV
sighted by this writer to Ayorinde, reads.
“What an effrontery”! Ambode said upon reading the memo,
wondering who gave the memo-writing LTV staff the audacity to
question his action. But upon investigation by Ambode, the LTV
staff were said to enjoy the support of Tinubu which prompted the
governor to again, transfer them out of the station.
When the hues refused to die down as rumours against Ayorinde
led cabal continued to boom like wave of ocean within Alausa,
Governor Ambode redeployed his image maker to Art and Tourism
Ministry. As expected, the hullabaloo about the OB VAN and
camera contract scam reduced but failed to die down as
envisaged by the Governor.
N1.2billion deposit out of N2.4billion was paid to Delkash Farez, a
Lebanese to procure an OB VAN, 25 Cameras and other
transmission gadgets for Lagos Television from Excellence
Transmission Inc Limited based in Manchester, United Kingdom.
However, while cameras and transmission equipments not worth
more than N50million were supplied, the OB VAN, over two years
after 50% deposit were made, has not been delivered.
Over One Billion Naira of Tax Payers’ Money went down the drain,
Tinubu queried but the interest of the masses may not be the
cause of Tinubu’s anger if not for the fact that the contract was
awarded against his wish yet, OB VAN was not supplied and
substandard cameras were delivered.
Acting on a petition secretly forwarded to him by some concerned
staff of LTV recently, Ambode was told by Tinubu to explain the
situation of the OB VAN which he had planned to use at his
(Tinubu) owned private broadcast station, Television Continental
(TVC) for LIVE transmission of political rallies for commercial
purpose ahead of 2019 general elections.
An angry Tinubu, without mincing word, was said to have listed
several blunders and steps Ambode had taken to undermine his
authority such as the termination of refuse collector contract to
party chieftains to hire the obviously in-efficient VisionScape
Concept to the LTV contract scam, Tinubu warned the governor to
provide the OB VAN before July 2018 or forget his 2019 second
term ambition.
Ambode, in his response to Tinubu explained that the Lebanese
hired to represent LTV before the British Company manufacturing
the OB VAN has disappeared and all efforts made thus far through
the Lebanese embassy in Lagos and Abuja to locate him has
proven impossible, an excuse that failed to convince Tinubu.
Ambode, on the advice of his think-tank group led by Ayorinde, in a
move to outsmart their godfather, concluded to push Tinubu into
defence, hence the recent petition written by a former ally of
Tinubu, Mr. Tunji Apara to the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission over the activities of a tax consulting firm, Alpha Beta,
said to be owned by the former Lagos State Governor in the state
since 2003.
Nonetheless the rebuttal of Ambode, this writer gathered from very
reliable sources that the OB VAN was purposely designed to fail by
the governor and his boys. The Lebanese was instructed by Steve
Ayorinde to disappear from Nigeria until the dust is settled.
According to the contract paper between LTV and Excellence
Transmission Inc Limited, the payment must be completed within
six months, failure which the company would entertain offers from
other interested buyers.
And 15 months after 50% payment (65% higher than the value
price) was released by government and money transferred to UK,
LTV failed to pay the balance.
A check at the 2017 appropriation of Lagos state however showed
that the balance of the OB VAN whose initial deposit was captured
in 2016 budget, has been released clandestinely without following
due process. And to cover up the fraud, 11 staff of LTV have either
been redeployed or retired from the service of Lagos State
Government.

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