Lagos Procurement Scandal: Business Owner That Supplied Sanwo-Olu’s Frangrances, Pamphlets For DPOs Worth N9m “Na Mechanic He Be”

Funso Doherty
Funso Doherty

Discrepancies have come to light on a recent public disclosure made by Funso Doherty, a Lagos-based chartered accountant and politician, on allocations in the 2023 budget of the Lagos State Government (LASG).

Doherty, the 2023 governorship candidate of the Action Democratic Congress (ADC) in Lagos, on Saturday, wrote an open letter to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on some contract awards reported by the state’s Public Procurement Agency (PPA).

One of the awards analysed by the accountant from April to September, which he said requires “scrutiny” and review, was the sum of N7.5 million awarded for the “replacement of the liquid fragrance in the Office of Mr Governor, Lagos House, Ikeja.”

Lagos Procurement Scandal: Business Owner That Supplied Sanwo-Olu's Frangrances, Pamphlets For DPOs Worth N9m "Na Mechanic He Be"

For the replacement of liquid fragrance in Sanwo-Olu’s office, the records published was a June 16, 2023 payment by Sanwo-Olu’s Chief of Staff (CoS), Tayo Ayinde, to Adebiyi Lateef Adebowale, a 33-year-old Lagos resident.

Lagos Procurement Scandal: Business Owner That Supplied Sanwo-Olu's Frangrances, Pamphlets For DPOs Worth N9m "Na Mechanic He Be"

According to the Lagos PPA, Ayinde paid Adebowale’s ARC44 Global Enterprises a sum of N7,475,000.

The CoS, according to the PPA also paid the business the sum of N2,300,000 for “production of telephone directory pamphlet of Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) and emergency response agencies in Lagos State.”

The total payment which amounts to N9,775,000 were made on June 16 (pamphlets) and June 23 (frangrances) to the same business.

Following a visit by Foundation of Investigation Journalism (FIJ) to the registered address of ARC44 Global Enterprises’ on Monday, to see and find out how Adebowale secured the contract to deliver fragrances and pamphlets, the business was nowhere to be found.

Having visited 10, Ayoola Lawal Street, Bariga-Shomolu, the alleged address, an aged woman who operated a kiosk in front of the building, noted she did not know anyone named Adebowale or business called ARC44 Global Enterprises.

Lagos Procurement Scandal: Business Owner That Supplied Sanwo-Olu's Frangrances, Pamphlets For DPOs Worth N9m "Na Mechanic He Be"
10, Ayoola Lawal Street, Bariga-Shomolu,

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Upon request of the full description of the man (Adebiyi Lateef Adebowale), business name and the contracts the state government paid him for, the woman said in pidgin: “Lati? Na mechanic he be o! We know am here as Adebiyi Lati. Na very quiet boy. He no de print or sell anything. Na mechanic. Printing press no de here.”

Moreso, contacts were dropped for Adebiyi to call as FIJ was unable to meet him at the the time.

However when “Lati” called, FIJ in the guise of wanting to order flyers and pamphlets, asked if he could produce 1,000 wedding flyers, and if he had supplied pamphlets to police DPOs as claimed on the PPA website, he said: “I will produce it for you; no problem.

Responding to if he produced pamphlets for the police, he said, “Pamphlets for DPOs? No o!”

Asked of his fragrance contract, he replied, “Why are you asking these types of questions?”

While maintaining he did not produce anything of such nature, he refused to comment on whether he was a mechanic or not, but he said he owned the business.

“All the contracts were issued by the procurement agency and were delivered. Go and meet them if you have any questions,” he told FIJ.

When contacted and briefed with the development, Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary to Sanwo-Olu said, “Nothing is perfect. Lagos State tries its best, and among the 36 states, we try our best to meet the procurement requirements. Show me another state that meets the procurement law.

“No contractor would speak with you. Maybe you got the wrong person. Take the procurement agency to court and see. The business is four months old, but there are ways procurement people do their thing and they would tell you there is a clause that allows them give contracts to any business. You can open a business today and get a contract. Those fragrances cost about $1,000 per one, and they got about eight of them.

“The governor’s office is not just his house he sleeps in Lagos. His residence in Abuja, Marina, Alausa, G.R.A. and other offices are all governor’s office. If they bought and put in all those offices, then I don’t think it is anything.”