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ICPC In Ekiti, Begins Investigation Into Petitions Of Alleged N25bn Fraud Against Fayemi, Other

By Oluwole Ogunlola
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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

Satte 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Education Board (SUBEB) counterpart fund, which was withdrawn from the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.