Uthman Hamzat, the Chairman ofIfako-Ijaye Local government Area of Lagos State and a sibling of the Dr Obafemi Hamzat may have dragged the State Deputy governor’s name into a controversy.
Uthman and the Council he chairs have been dragged to court by a construction firm, Bodmans, who is accusing both of terminating a building contract awarded it.
Bodmans claimed the council awarded it a contract to build an estate at Aroromi Market along Old Akue Road in 2014 during the time of Mr. Toba Oke as chairman in a public-private partnership arrangement. Then the incumbent was the vice-chairman.
It said, the council in the wisdom of its management failed to fulfil its side of the early bargain by demolishing the market shops and so Bodmas was unable to move to the site, even when the company had spent huge sum in obtaining all the necessary documents from the state in line with the agreement entered into by both parties.
Source, who did not want his name in print, said the parties held talks over the delay and the outcome was an extension of the contract completion to 2024.
But things took a surprise twist when Uthman became the Council chairman and allegedly tried to browbeat the contractor into partying with part of the contract.
He was accused of saying that he wanted to give half of the job to his Deputy governor brother and set hoodlums on the contractors and the workers at the site.
The accusation is the subject of a petition authored by the contractor’s lawyer, Owolabi Dawodu, to the Deputy governor himself.
It reads in part, “Regrettably, when the current chairman Alhaji Uthman Akanbi Hamzat took over as the chairman of Ifako-Ijaiye Local government things acquired another shape. The first thing to happen was that he invited our client to a meeting somewhere in Ogba and demanded that the project be split into two as he wanted to give half to his brother.
“Our client explained that she would need to meet anyone who would partner with her on the project, as the approval and legal documents are in her name and also identified cost. It was at this point, the chairman changed and decided to frustrate the project and make it unworkable
“On the 22nd day of March 2022, when our client moved to the site to commence construction, the chairman physically led a horde of thugs to the site and attacked our client and her staffs(sic). Injuring some and arrested two of them. The chairman falsely claimed to the police that our client had no legal documents to the land.
“Every effort to get the honourable chairman to see reason has been unsuccessful as the legal officer in a fit of carelessness informed our client that they would wait and ensure the contract expires on our client and she is unable to perform same. How inhuman!”