N70.495bn contract scam: NDDC officials, contractors indicted will be banned from holding public office ― Reps

The House of Representatives on Monday vowed not to spear anyone indicted in the ongoing investigation into the N70.495 billion contract scandal by recommending to the Executive that such individual(s) should be barred from holding public office in Nigeria.

Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Wole Oke issued the threat notice at the resumed investigation into the audit queries issued by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation (oAuGF) against NDDC between 2008 and 2012.

According to the audit report, 1,723 contractors being recycled by the Commission for the execution of projects, failed to report to the site after collecting the sum of N70,495,993,761 mobilization fees within the period under review.

Speaking earlier, NDDC Executive Director Projects, Dr Cairo Ojuogbo who noted that the Interim Management Committee (IMC) was not involved in the controversies surrounding the award of the contracts between 2008 and 2012, adding that: “this query is part of the reasons IMC came to being so that we can explain to the country what has happened in this query.”

While acknowledging that the government is a continuum, Dr Ojuogbo that the contractors were mobilized without work done.

Dr Ojuogbo who affirmed that 90 per cent of the contracts were awarded between 2011 and 2020, also confirmed that there was the excess payment made by the agency more than the value of work done.

The House Committee also demanded from the Acting Managing Director of the agency Prof. Pondei Kemerbrandikumo provide a list of all the 1,723 Contractors and the projects awarded to them between 2011 and 2012.

He also invited bank chief executives for fraudulently raising Advance Payment Guarantees for these contractors.

Chairman of the Committee Hon. Oluwole Oke said that the ex-commissioners and executive directors of NDDC had flouted the provisions of the Appropriation Act 2011 and the 1999 Constitution (as amended) by approving over-inflated contracts and making overpayments to these contractors.

He said, “we won’t allow such behaviour to go unpunished. Some people have intentionally raped and violated the provisions of the Appropriation Act and the 1999 Constitution,” he alleged.

At the hearing, NDDC acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemerbrandikumo affirmed that most of the expenditure in the contracts were made after the late passage of the commission’s annual budgets.

He also admitted that the officials had flouted the laws and demanded that the Committee gives him four weeks to comply with the directives.

Nonetheless, the committee helmsman insisted that the NDDC officials must appear unfailingly within seven days and the list of all the projects and contractors should accompany the officials summoned.

In his remarks, Hon. Oke observed that: “An infraction has occurred and your predecessor, we are aware of the heavy rainfall in your area but that does not go to the fact that you should spend beyond what the law says, the budget is the law.

“That does not give you the power to spend beyond what the law says you should spend. The summary of my position is that we won’t allow such behaviour to go unsanctioned. We appreciate your being truthful, we appreciate your determination for wanting to uphold the content deliver to the people in the heart of NDDC vis-a-vis the provision of the constitution.

“But with the fact that some people have willingly and intentionally violated, raped the provisions of the Constitution, that such thing will not go unsanctioned. It is what other people will just say okay, it is the norm and that if I come to the Parliament they will pat me at the back.

“So it’s on that note that we took cognizant of the that and then we uphold the prayers of the Auditor General.

“Hence we must know these characters that committed this offence. And I also want to suggest that we give them an opportunity to state their own side of the story because fair hearing is a constitutional gift,” he noted

He also directed the NDDC acting Managing Director to furnish the committee with the names of all the Commissioner, Directors and Contractors engaged by the Commission to defend these allegations and give an account of their stewardship during the period under review.

In the same vein, the House Committee on Public Accounts resolved to summon the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas over the sum of N11.5 million house rent queried by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation.

However, the Committee resolved to step the audit query as the lawmakers argued that the representative of the Chief OF Naval Staff, Commander Murtala Ahmed, an Assistant Director of Budget, could not provide answers to the committee’s queries on the utilisation
N11.5 million rent.

The Committee also queried the N30 million allegedly misappropriated out of total sum N1.2 billion appropriated by Ecological Fund Office misappropriated for the canalisation contract of Okoko and Ugbaga rivers in Osogbo, Osun State.

In her response, the Permanent Secretary in the Ecological Fund, Office of the Secretary of the Federation (SGF), Mrs Habiba Lawan explained that the sum of N30 million was paid as compensation to communities whose properties were demolished.

As stated in the audit query, there was no record that the compensation was paid to the communities, hence demanded proof of payments and valid receipts from beneficiaries of the money.

While ruling, Hon. Oke disclosed that the Committee will send a 4-man delegation to verify the authenticity of the claims.

 

YOU SHOULD NOT MISS THESE HEADLINES FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

Details have emerged of how the leader of Ibadan notorious gang, One Million Boys, Abiola Ebila, was killed on Sunday afternoon.  Tribune Online gathered from a reliable source who craved anonymity, that Ebila and his team kidnapped a middle-aged man whose name as of the time of this report could not be ascertained… Read Full Story

 

A total of 1,773 contractors were allegedly paid N70.495 billion by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)  as mobilisation fees without resorting to the site between 2008 and 2012. This was revealed as the House of Representatives at the weekend kicked-off its investigation into the N70.495 billion allegedly… Read Full Story
There was an executioner in Old Oyo who specialised in cutting off his victims’ heads. He later sinned and was sentenced to death. At the point of execution, he demanded to know which part of his body would be cut: “the head or the feet?” The town yelled: How did you kill your victims? Ex-EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu… Read Full Story
THE Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Sunday, clarified that due process of law was followed in the approval granted to a firm, Omoh Jay Nig Ltd, to dispose of vessels. He said the approval followed the final forfeiture order obtained by his office and the presidential… Read Full Story
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases, on Sunday, with the total rising by 230,370 in 24 hours… Read Full Story
Despite the record gains in three trading session last week, equities trading on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed the week bearish as the All Share Index (ASI) depreciated by 0.12 per cent to… Read Full Story 
The 19 Northern States Northern Speakers Conference under the aegis of Northern Speakers Forum(NSF) converged in Kaduna at the weekend to discuss sensitive and critical issues that are affecting the region… Read Full Story
One factor working in favour of leading organizations is their deployment of customer feedback to get even better. Feedback is the view expressed by customers about the performance of a company or its products. This could be positive or negative. Feedback is important because it is a pointer to the future of an organization… Read Full Story
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has suspended Ibrahim Magu from office as the Acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following his arrest last week and appearance before the presidential probe panel set up to investigate allegations of impropriety levelled against him by the Attorney… Read Full Story
Corruption is the Original Sin. The political philosopher Isaiah Berlin described it as part of “the crooked timber of humanity”. It belongs to the class of “wicked problems”. A wicked problem, according to policy scientists, is a social problem that appears in the manner of an insoluble puzzle; in which the best… Read Full Story
You might also like
Comments

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More