- Tunji Olowolafe has been investigated by the EFCC since 2010 in a case that went cold as typical
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
It is no longer news that former Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola is embattled at the moment, as the ‘Mr. Saint’ reputation he seemed to have built over the years is fast crumbling, no thanks to series of disclosures from the new Lagos State administration under Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, a former Accountant General of the state, allegedly retired prematurely by the former governor.
Fashola who was seen by many as an example of good leadership is presently enmeshed in series of corruption allegation.
Emerging facts reveal that the lawyer turned politician was engaged in primitive consumption and accumulation of wealth. And this, he allegedly did through Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Deux Projects Limited and the favored proxy of his estranged godfather, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. (Deux website * Warning, his website currently has malware! Click this link only if you are secure)
Authoritatively inside sources told DAILY POST that, over 70 percent of Lagos State government’s contracts, particularly in the construction sector, were awarded to Tunji Olowolafe, a trained medical doctor and onetime cab driver in London.
Tunji’s company, Deux, which fronted for Fashola, allegedly cornered the Lagos State Government’s contract market.
According to the source, the business romance between Olowolafe and Lagos State started during the two term tenure of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as Governor, when his company was awarded virtually all the contracts for the refurbishment of hospitals and several others in the state’s health sector at bloated and inflated costs.
Deux Project was given the contract to refurbish LASUTH, (former General Hospital, Ikeja) and maintain the place for a while. During Tinubu’s reign, Deux also built several wards within the hospital and other General Hospitals in the state like Ifako Ijaiye, Isolo , Badagry, Epe to name a few.
Though Gov. Fashola’s performance in his first four-year tenure was quite impressive, investigations however revealed that the governor allegedly helped himself to a chunk of the money in the Lagos treasury in his second term.
The award of a 50 Billion Naira contract to Tunji Olowolafe’s company for the expansion of the Lagos-Epe 43 kilometer road also remains mind boggling. What the figure translates to is that Fashola awarded the contract to reconstruct an already existing road with 1 billion Naira per kilometer!
The same Olowolafe is also in charge of the Bar Beach Water Front, another multi-billion naira project.
A source at the Lagos State government office told DAILY POST that, “The mere fact that BRF had good publicity does not mean he worked hard and properly as he ought to. He manipulated the media and hoodwinked the unsuspecting public to his advantage and went to sleep. Lagos State became a big bazaar where public funds were wantonly shared among cronies under him.
“Monies were kept in different individual accounts for BRF. Chief of whom is Dr. Tunji Olowolafe, a trained medical practitioner turned powerful political jobber”.
In the wake of the larger than life elevation of the medical doctor within government circles in Lagos State under Fashola, many were forced to ask the questions, who is Tunji Olowolafe? What is the relationship between BRF and Tunji Olowolafe? Why was it that it was only Tunji Olowolafe that handled all the contracts in Lagos State, in all ministries and parastatals, including road construction and what have you? Why was it that whenever Olowolafe was awarded any mega contract, he was always paid 70 per cent up front?
It will be recalled that Olowolafe, whose company was allegedly used as front by the Lagos State governor to execute inflated contracts, was arrested on Friday, April 23, 2010, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, after investigators discovered that 27 contracts were awarded to the company from the state Ministry of Health and three from the Ministry of Education.
He was drilled for three days while in the anti-graft body’s custody and was believed to have made significant and useful contributions to the efforts by EFCC to unravel facts on the various allegations of corruption against Fashola, which also led to the invitation of Fashola himself and some members of his cabinet.
Despite the established fact that Deux Projects Limited collected more than N10 billion from the state coffers, nothing has been heard of the case even in the face of damning confessions by Olowolafe to the EFCC while in their custody.
Dr Tunji Olowolafe is also a director in Lekki Concession Company. The company resurfaced and expanded the Mobil/Lekki Expressway and toll-gates. It is in charge of collection of the controversial toll on the Lekki-Epe corridor of Lagos State.
The Lagos State government had also claimed that Fashola awarded a contract for the drilling of two boreholes at the Lagos House, Ikeja for N139m to the same company, Deux Projects Limited.
According to the report, the contracts were awarded by the Lagos State Tenders Board in 2013.
In the same year, N300 million was spent on the relocation of cables belonging to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. The contract was awarded to Deux Projects Limited.
Similarly, N220 million was said to have been spent on the facility management of the Lagos State University College of Medicine. The contract was awarded to Deux Projects Limited.
The former governor, according to the report, spent N619 million on surface repair on Ajara-Erekiti-Iragon-Ikoga Road in Badagry Local Government.
According to the report also, Fashola spent N1.2 billion on the construction of an unidentified multi-storey building in Onikan, Lagos.
The former governor was also said to have spent N1.6 billion on the construction of a 48-bedroom hotel at Lagos State VIP Chalets, Badagry.
About N510 million was spent on the re-modelling and equipping of the official residence of the state’s Chief Judge at 4 Thompson Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos, according to the report.
About N165 million was spent on the construction of an 18-classroom block at Ajara Senior Grammar School, Ajara Badagry. The same amount was also spent on an 18-block classroom at Community Senior/Junior Secondary School, Bayeku, Ikorodu.
Other contracts awarded the company, Deux Projects Limited, included: Facility Management of Mother and Child Centre, Ifako Ijaiye (Clinical), Facility Management of Mother and Child Centre, Ifako Ijaiye (Non Clinical}, Facility Management of Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) – Contract A (Non Clinical Services) and Construction of a Four (4) Storey Faculty of Basic Medical Science Office Block for Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM).
Others are Facility Management of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) from January to December 2010, Facility and Technical Management of the Bola Tinubu Health and Diagnostic Centre, LASUTH, Ikeja (Extension of Contract), Construction of Maternal and Child Care Centre (MCC), Epe (Equipment), Construction of Maternal and Child Care Centre (MCC), Epe (Building), Construction of Maternal and Child Care Centre (MCC), Badagry (Equipment) and Construction of Maternal and Child Care Centre (MCC), Badagry (Building).
The company also got contracts for the Rehabilitation of Network of Roads (Oyetayo/ Church Boladele (Part) and Jimoh Akinosi in Oshodi / Isolo LGA. Completion of Adekunledeen / Obasuah / Omoniyi / Ekunjimi / Raimi / Ogunderu Streets, Sari Iganmu, in Apapa LGA, Construction of Maternal and Child Health Centre, Amuwo Odofin (Additional Works) and the Redevelopment of Agege Stadium, Phase II
Others are Rehabilitation of Hospital Road, Gbagada and the Construction of Link Bridge between Medina Estate and Atunrase Estate. Supply, Installation of Equipment and Furniture for the new staff clinic at the Secretariat, INEC Office renovation works, Amuwo Odofin General Hospital (Additional Works), Fencing (Sides and rear) of Gbagada General Hospital (Additional Works).
Deux Projects Limited also got jobs for the Construction of Students’ Hostel Block A and B at LASUCOM (Additional Works), Combine Clinics and Wards (Additional Works), Burns and Trauma ward (Additional Works), Central External Services of Gbagada General Hospital (Additional Works) and Cardiac and Renal Centre (Additional Works).
Others are Construction of Office Block for Faculty of Clinical Sciences for LASUCOM (Additional Works), Construction of Maternal and Child Complex at Ajeromi (Additional Works}, Construction of Maternal and Child Complex at Amuwo Odofin (Additional Works), Construction of Highway Toll Gate Accident and Emergency Centre (Additional Works), Construction of Maternal and Child Complex at Isolo (Additional Works), Construction of Maternal and Child Complex at Ifako – Ijaye (Additional Works} and Construction of Maternal and Child Complex at Ikorodu (Additional Works)
Additionally the company was awarded contracts for the Completion of Adekunledeen / Obasuah / Omoniyi / Ekunjimi / Raimi / Ogunderu Streets, Sari Iganmu, in Apapa LGA,Supply, Installation and Commissioning of Medical Equipment and Furniture for 20 – Bed Highway Emergency Centre at the Toll Gate, Lagos Ibadan Expressway and Supply and Installation of Medical Equipment and Furniture for the 3-storey Cardiac and Renal Centre at LASUTH Annex, Gbagada.