Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday summoned the Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the President, Dr. Doyin Okupe, to explain his roles in a contract with the Benue State Government. The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated this in Abuja.
President Goodluck Jonathan had been asked to sack Okupe because of the contract, which opposition parties had accused him of abandoning after collecting huge sums of money. Metuh said, “We invited Dr. Okupe because this matter is in the court of public opinion.”
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Okupe said he had presented relevant documents to the party, claiming that the state was still owing his company.
He said his company, Value Trust Investment Limited, had executed the contracts above the money it got for the job. Okupe said Benue State was still owing his company over N358m for job done.
He challenged the former governor of the state, Senator George Akume, and Governor Gabriel Suswam to speak the truth on the terms of the contract. He insisted that his company asked for variation on the contract, since its terms had changed, but that the state refused to pay.
Okupe said the variation was made by his company in April 2007. He said, “The cost of equipment had increased and there were provisions for variation, but the Benue State Government ignored the request.
“Having done an approved 40 per cent of the job of N2.3bn and only paid N545m after deductions of VAT, after an additional N358m was done, the Benue state government refused to pay. “The price of diesel, one of the major raw materials of the ingredient has gone up to N90 litre from N20.
“The non-payment of the IPC 4 certificate of N358 million was the major reason why VTIL, failed to complete the roads as scheduled, though, the certificate is for work already done." He threatened to sue the state government for “defamation of character”.
Okupe also said the state executive council said the only way the matter could be resolved was through arbitration as he said both the Economic and Financial Crime Commission and the Federal Ministry of Works had all inspected the work done.