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Cross River government, contractor trade blames over collapsed U.J. Esuene Stadium Sports Hall

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The collapsed Indoor Sports Hall

The Chief Executive of the contracting firm handling the multipurpose Sports Hall of the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar, Cross River State, Henley Brecon and Mayfield Limited, Mr. Ozolua Giwa-Amu, has challenged the state government to investigate who received $14m for the job.

Furious over the allegations against him by the state’s Sports Commission Chairman, Otuekong Orok Duke, Giwa-Omu, whose firm is in charge of the collapsed uncompleted building, said in a statement: “I dare you to prosecute me, it is not hard, write a petition to the EFCC, and let them investigate. Until then, shut up.

Speaking further, he said: “Let there be an investigation, and anyone found guilty should pay the price. I dare you and Governor Ben Ayade to do what is right. I dare them to investigate who received $14 million. I know what I was paid and I know who was stealing materials from my site, I dare them to prove whose account or who received anything over N900m. Are people so ignorant? Just cause an investigation,” he stated.

Giwa-Amu also told some journalists that he suspected sabotage from those who alleged that substandard materials were used for the job by his company, saying: “Note that I do not work for Orok Duke nor the sports commission. I have a contract with the Cross River State government through its ministry of Special Projects. We have abundant evidences, as to the culprit who removed the beam that caused the collapse. We see this as willful destruction of state property.”

The sports commission chairman has maintained that all money paid to the contractor came from the commission’s account, adding: “For Ozolua to steal Cross River State money and dare us this way, is a challenge to all of us.

“What I have discovered is that the contractors to this project have used substandard materials and it is showing because this structure has been here for about three years. But what we should note here is that this structure was erected before the advent of Prof. Ben Ayade’s government.

“In keeping with our policy of trying to reposition sports, I had asked for permission to go after the contractor, but my principal, the governor said he does not want any distraction,” he stated.

The facility, which was supposed to host the thrice-postponed 19th National Sports Festival, collapsed on Good Friday but no one was hurt.


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