By NBF News

A former chairman of the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, Chief Adewale Omojuwa, on Monday denied awarding frivolous contracts to fictitious firms.

He also denied claims by his successor, Mr. Debo Ajimuda, that the commission was indebted to the tune of N13.8bn as at February 2010 when the Olusegun Agagu administration was terminated.

Omojuwa told journalists in an interview that the law that established the commission did not empower it to award any contract that the value would be above N750,000.

He also said that the contracts were awarded by the state Tenders Board with the approval of the state executive council.

Ajimuda had alleged that frivolous contracts were awarded to contractors that could not be traced, while the commission was also turned into a conduit pipe to siphon money into private accounts when Omojuwa was the chairman.

But Omojuwa said, 'It was a common knowledge that Dr. Agagu's government was a government of due process; the government under Agagu established a procedure for projects' award and implementation, which was applicable to OSOPADEC.'

Omojuwa said all the contracts awarded while he was in office satisfied the conditions set by the then state government, which did not give room for shady deals.

He promised to institute a legal action against Ajimuda. He also challenged him to show the public the particulars of the contracts awarded to the fictitious contractors.

He said there was no time he claimed to have left N46bn in the coffers of the commission, saying OSOPADEC had a credit balance of N1.2bn by the time he left office in February 2010.

He also said the claim that he left a debt of N13.8bn was untrue, saying all certificates raised were paid before he left office, while money meant for those unable to be paid was left in the capital account of the commission.

Omojuwa, however, regretted that in spite of the enormous fund available to the commission, it had in the last 15 months failed to initiate new projects for the development of the oil producing areas of the state.