Wednesday, June 2, 2010


We are concerned Lagosians who recently brought to the attention of the people of Lagos state a catalogue of fraudulent transactions and corrupt practices of the Lagos State Government under the caption “The other face of Lagos”
. This is the second in the series of corrupt and fraudulent activities of this government for the attention of well meaning Lagosians.

Tejuosho market which was gutted by fire a few years ago is now being re-built by a company owned by Dr Tunji Olowolafe-a known front and lackey of Gov Babatunde Fashola. We catalogue below, series of events from 2004 to date:

1. For the avoidance of doubt, Tejuosho market was built in the early 70s during the regime of Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson as a model market. Phase 2 of the market was completed during the time of Alhaji Jakande in the early 80s. The market was however, gutted by two mysterious fire first in 2004 and then 2007 when it was completely destroyed and innocent traders lost billions of naira worth of goods and properties.

2. Rather than the government conducting the usual enquiry to determine the immediate and remote causes of the fire incidents, it instead hurriedly displaced the traders without compensation. It is curious that the solid structure that had stood the test of time over three decades was suddenly and completely razed by mysterious fire

3. The Tinubu government then decided to re-build the market and accepted a proposal from a consortium known as Market Design & Management Company Ltd (MDMC) to design and build at a cost of N1.6billion. MDMC intended to build and sell at an average cost of N2million per shop. During the process of contract negotiation, the hapless shop owners got wind of the plans and protested strongly suspecting rightly that other interests might hijack the project and priced it out of their reach. The matter was reported to the House of Assembly who invited the consortium and other government officials for hearing. The consortium assured the house that it will sell the shops at not more than N2million and will give priority to the 220 traders already displaced.

4. Despite the protest, the government concluded negotiation with the consortium after completing due process and thereafter gave a letter of engagement to MDMC to build a framed structure size of 149m long x 76m wide on three floors with a roof level car park for 284 cars and 1,251 lock shops on the ground, first, and second floors. The facility would also include 1,047 steel framed and roofed klee klamp stores and other service facilities.

5. Immediately Governor Fashola was sworn in, he moved quickly to hijack the project. By August 2007, the commissioner Abosede Francisco in collusion with Ibile Holdings approached MDMC to sell the project to Dr Tunji Olowolafe. MDMC resisted the overture and threatened to take legal action against the state government, but they were eventually forced to transfer the project to Dr Tunji Olowolafe

6. The Fashola administration immediately jerked up the contract cost to N5billion and awarded the contract with a term of 30 year concession Dr Tunji Olowolafe. Despite the fact that project is yet to reach 30% completion, the shops are already being sold for between N8million to N10million.

7. The interest of the original shop owners have been wiped out and no provision for petty traders and market men and women was made. These people are now suffering untold hardship and many have been rendered in penury. This government has not shown any concern but rather has been profiting from their woes.

8. A pattern is now emerging whereby the state government deliberately destroys notable markets meant for petty traders and gives the lucrative real estate to its cronies who masquerade as developers under shady and fraudulent circumstances and at the expense of innocent but poor petty traders. For example, Oyingbo market has been demolished and abandoned, and the traders displaced after several billions have been paid to Prince Dipo Eludoyin-another front and crony of the Governor. Indeed Prince Eludoyin is a major beneficiary of questionable land deals like Ogudu foreshore and Ilubinrin government estate. Oluwole market in Lagos Island has been demolished; traders displaced and land concessioned to Dr Tunji Olowolafe under questionable deals. Other markets with same pattern include Mushin Ojuwoye, Iponri, and Gbaja in Surulere.

9. We urge residents and traders in these markets to be vigilant against this pattern of mysterious fire only for these cronies of government to surface as developers under questionable and shady long term concession deals.

10. In addition, other popular markets have been penciled down by the state government for similar treatment. The owners/traders of sura, obalende, sandgrouse alade market in ikeja, alaya bi agba in ajegunle etc should also be vigilant and watchful.

11. Indeed it is on record that this government and its immediate predecessor have not built a single market for petty traders in the last 10 years.

The Lagos State House of Assembly is aware of these issues and has been silent about them.

The Lagos Progressives is determined to expose corruption and abuse of office prevalent in Lagos state. We challenge the anti-corruption agencies to take immediate steps to arrest and prosecute all persons involved in this fraud and investigate Governor Raji on these shady and fraudulent transactions. We wonder why the EFCC has not done what it did in states like Delta, Bayelsa, Plateau, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Edo, etc by carrying out detailed and comprehensive investigations into the books in Lagos State to expose the corrupt practices of those running the affairs of the state.

We are not a faceless organization as we are willing and ready to come forward with facts and documents when the House of Assembly or any anti-corruption agency invites us. We make bold to say that our organization will not relent in our efforts to expose corruption in Lagos State Government and we still have many more releases for members of the public in the coming weeks. Please watch out for part 3


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