The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is set to quiz a former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Mr. Abdulmumin Jibrin, again this week over a petition alleging “fraudulent award” of contracts worth N418m to firms linked to him.
The petition, dated July 26, 2016, was written by the Anti-corruption Unit of the National Youth Council of Nigeria.
The EFCC acknowledged receipt of the petition on July 29.
It was gathered that the EFCC had concluded arrangements to interrogate the former appropriation committee chairman again this week.
An officer had said in confidence, “Our operatives will before the end of the week, invite him to answer questions relating to the fresh petition.”
In the petition, the NYCN stated that in September 2014, the National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons awarded 10 contracts to five companies in the combined sum of N418m in one day.
It noted that the contract documents merely directed the firms to make supplies to “Kano State”, but did not indicate the purpose of the contract, the location where the supplies would be delivered, nor the names of the recipients.
However, in each of the contract document, the agency copied Jibrin, who was at the time the Chairman, House Committee on Finance.
Part of the petition read, “All contacts were awarded in one day; all the contracts were awarded to Kano State.
“All the contract award letters were copied to Jibrin; three of the companies are located in the same EFAB Mall, Area 11, Abuja.
“Two of the companies, which got four of the contracts, used the same office address, Suite A47, EFAB Mall, Area 11, Abuja.”
Going through the contracts papers, it was observed that one of the firms, M/S Eash Progressive Ventures, was awarded a contract to supply 140 units of computers for N47.6m.
Another firm, Eleku Construction Limited, was awarded a contract worth N44.1m to supply 2,452 bags of “maize and millet to Kano State.”
The council urged the EFCC to probe the contracts because of the “curious” nature of the deals, which did not include any other lawmaker or the Kano State Government other than Jibrin, who was copied.
It called on the commission to establish the “capability” or otherwise of Jibrin and the Federal Commissioner, who awarded the 10 contracts.
It added, “The unit cost of the supplies in the 10 contracts is outrageous.
“Efforts to trace evidence of completion of the contracts have proved abortive.
“The description of the companies is ambiguous, as they were all supplies to Kano State, without any specification to whom or what purpose the supplies would be deployed.”
The document to the EFCC was signed by the Council’s Coordinator, Mr. Ifeanyi Okonkwo.
The spokesman for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed to our correspondent on the telephone that the commission had received a petition against Jibrin.
Get ready for trial, Jibrin tells Dogara, others
But in his Twitter handle on Saturday, Jibrin said Dogara and others involved in budget padding should prepare to face prosecution.
He said that the principal officers could not harass him with media propaganda.
Jibrin said the All Progressives Congress should get rid of Dogara and other members of the party involved in budget padding.
He added that the Peoples Democratic Party should do the same thing to the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor.
He said, “No amount of media propaganda, blackmail or intimidation can stop me. They are very bitter because I have turned down a “family resolution.”
On the issue of cars contract, he said, “Maybe it’s easier for Dogara to explain his role in the fraudulent multibillion-naira cars contract by his fronts as Chair House Services. This same man we call Speaker l, ‘number 4 citizen’ is involved in all cases of fraudulent contracts and money laundering in the House since 2007.
“With the massive amount being moved from the House accounts on Dogara’s instruction, I hope he will be arrested before he steals everything. Speaker Dogara, Lasun and Doguwa are already a baggage that the APC should offload; same for Minority Leader, Leo Ogar to the PDP.”
Tambuwal peace moves fails
Meanwhile, a peace meeting under the auspices of the Transparency Group in the House, said to have been initiated by the Governor of Sokoto State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, failed before it started, reports say.
Sources close to the group claimed that Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House, had sought to meet with Dogara; and Jibrin.
However, the TG, which is also opposed to the Speaker in the ongoing budget padding crisis, reportedly backed out after Tambuwal failed to revert to the group on the conditions it set to attend the meeting.
The sources claimed the TG demanded the resignation of Dogara, in addition to reconvening the House so that external bodies could probe the budget padding allegations.
Truth will vindicate us — Dogara
Dogara’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, in a statement, appealed to the public to be patient as truth will vindicate him.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to recent publications in some sections of the media in which the Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara has been grossly misrepresented in his statements to the press.
“The first was at the State House after his meeting with Mr President where he informed the press that “ padding” was unknown to the lexicon of the legislature and Nigerian law.
“By this, the Speaker clearly asserted that nothing undertaken by the legislature in the ordinary course of the budget process could be alluded to either as padding or an infraction of any law in Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, the media reported him as saying that ‘padding’ was not a crime. This tended to insinuate that the Hon Speaker admitted there was budget padding but that this did not constitute a crime.