Senate probes CCB over N8bn office project

THE Senate, on Tuesday, mandated three of its standing committees to probe the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) over an alleged abandonment of an office project worth N8 billion.

The senators, who adopted a motion moved by Senator Dino Melaye, mandated the committees on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions and Public Procurement to probe the alleged abandonment of the project.

The senator had moved a motion through order 43 (52) to inform the Senate of a petition he received by his committee on alleged abandonment of construction of CCB headquarters.

He expressed shock that the Federal Government had spent the sum of N1.4 billion on the abandoned project while the CCB abandoned it and adopted a different one on which it had spent another N4.4 billion.

“The Senate notes with serious concern the dumping of N8 billion office headquarters project by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

“The CCB, after spending over N1 billion on the construction of the office complex headquarters with complete approval by the FCDA, with design by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and supervision ongoing by the FCT, has opted to purchase a completed nine-storey building located in the Central Business District of Abuja, just as the abandoned one is also located in the same Business District.

“The Senate observes that the Bureau, apart from the ongoing construction project of the headquarters, was evaluated and awarded in the sum of N3,509,327,405, out of which a total sum of N1,407,263,884, so far, representing 16 per cent of the contract sum has been paid, while the cumulative job done as at to date is estimated at 10 per cent.

“In spite of the due releases to the Bureau in the 2016 budget, it went for the sum of N4.4 billion to buy the nine-storey building.

“It is worried that the action of the CCB in the whole exercise is not expected of an institution that is supposed to protect and watch over the finance of the society by checking corrupt practices in the Nigeria public service,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the sitting, said it would be prejudicial to debate the matter since it was an allegation, adding that a thorough investigation by the joint committees should point the way forward.