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ICPC Investigates N25Billion Fraud Case Against Fayemi

First Bank Nigeria

Men of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) were in Ekiti State for the better part of last week, in continuation of the anti-graft agency’s investigation of the alleged misappropriation of  over N25 billion.

The ICPC team of investigators, which included two men and one woman, visited some of the projects claimed to have been executed with the N25 billion bond obtained from the capital market by the Fayemi administration.

The visit was said to be at the prompting of petitions written by the State Government and a group, Save Ekiti Coalition (SEC).

Sources close to the commission also disclosed that the Federal Government was no longer comfortable with the public perception of President Mohammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption fight as being selective and most importantly, Governor Ayodele Fayose’s claim that complaints from the State to the ICPC and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) about how the immediate past All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Fayemi fleeced the State were ignored.

Apart from its petition, the State government also forwarded a reminder to the EFCC and ICPC with Reference Number PB/894/5, dated September 14, 2015 and signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr (Mrs), Modupe Alade, expressing the displeasure of the State government to the way and manner the commissions were handling petitions submitted to them.

Some of the contracts being investigated were the construction of earthwork for the New Governor’s Office was awarded to PONTI-ITALWARE Nig Ltd on March 3, 2012 at the sum of N383, 900,911.06, construction of new governor’s office awarded to Interkel Nig Ltd at the sum of N2,027,495,857.45, Civic Centre awarded to Tiajin-Yuyang Construction Eng. Company Ltd at a sum of N2,573,584,395.75, rehabilitation of roads among others.

Also being investigated is the N852, 936,713.92 State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) counterpart fund, which was withdrawn from the Access Bank account of SUBEB on October 8, 2014, eight days to the end of Fayemi’s tenure.

The N852, 936,713.92 was SUBEB Counterpart Fund paid to enable the Board access fund from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the alleged fraudulent withdrawal of the fund from SUBEB account eight days to the end of Fayemi’s government was the reason Ekiti State Government was blacklisted by UBEC.

ICPC is said to be interested in the rationale behind the transfer of the N852,936,713.92 into what was called Ekiti State Government Capital Project account and not used to pay SUBEB contractors.

Also, the ICPC team were said to have asked questions from officials in the SUBEB about the contracts worth N4, 246,094,751.14 awarded in 2012 through the Bureau of Special Projects (under the Governor’s office). The contracts were for renovation of schools, supply of school furniture and construction of classrooms. Funds for these projects were taken from SUBEB and Local Governments accounts.

Petitions to ICPC alleged that of these contracts, N3, 672,078,820.14 were for renovation of schools alone. Atlantic Offshore & Properties got N1, 152,562,555.14, Strabic Nig. Ltd got N1, 107,744.408.21, Bam Darley Nig. Ltd. got N924, 977,310.95 while Fatub Nig. Ltd got N486, 794,545.84.

“Immediately the renovation contracts were awarded, Atlantic Offshore
& Properties was paid N750 million (70% of contract sum), Strabic Nig. Ltd was paid N600 million (65% of contract sum), Bam Darley Nig. Ltd was paid N600 million (70% of contract sum) while Fatub Nig. Engineering Ltd was paid N150 million (60% of contract sum). “A total of N2.1bn was paid from SUBEB and LG accounts to these contractors even before the commencement of work, and over 40% of the payment was diverted into private pockets.

“In the 2014 Capital Projects Report, payments to the contractors were presented as; Atlantic Offshore & Properties (N1, 022,130,415.64), Strabic Nig. Ltd (N957, 237,829.62), Bam Darley Nig. Ltd (N742, 730,990.25) and Fatub Engineering Nig. Ltd (N431, 327,270.41)

“As at the time N1, 022,130,415.64 was paid to Atlantic Offshore & Properties, only 60% work had been done, meaning that Atlantic Offshore & Properties was only entitled to N691, 537,551. Bam Darley Nig. Ltd that was paid N742, 730,990.25 had done 60% work too and ought to have been paid N554, 986,386.57,” one of the petitions written by a group, Save Ekiti Coalition read.

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