Delta Speaker debunks N27 billion Contract Scam

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Rt. Hon(Engr.) Victor Ochei(m), displaying a relevant document during the press briefing, flanked by Hon Dan Mayuku(left) and Maj General Eso Obada(right)

Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Ochie has debunked media reports alleging that he is under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC over an alleged Independent Power Project, IPP contract scam totaling about N27 Billion.

The Nation Newspapers and The Punch had in one of their recent edition quoted an EFCC source confirming that indeed the anti-fraud agency are in procession of a petition detailing an alleged N27 Billion contract fraud with respect to the IPP project in Oghara, Delta State.

But Ochei in a press conference over the allegation described it as falsehood, insisting that “ there is no iota of truth in the issues raised in the publication as regards the IPP contract award to DAVNOTCH Nigeria Limited.”

According to the Speaker, “First and foremost, the award followed due process of contract awards by the Delta State Government. In addition, the contractual sum is N21, 750,000,000 and only reviewed to N23, 207, 826, 566 after a variation was approved on grounds of increased capacity of the gas turbine. It is notN27, 000,000,000 as misrepresented by both newspapers.”

“In fact, the entire process and contract sum were succinctly captured in the Delta State Government (DTSG) Due Process Journal of January-March Edition, 2010. Item 15 of the aforementioned document was specific on the nature; sum and expected delivery date of the contract…”

The speaker noted that in the desperation of the alleged petitioners to nail him, “They chose to distort the truth by alleging that the company was registered in July 2009, a month after the award. It is sheer lie!”

He stated that “The Company was registered on July 4, 1997 and was therefore 12 years old when it was awarded the contract in June 2009. In retrospect, DAVNOTCH Nigeria Limited won the contract because of its track record, integrity and enviable sense of corporate responsibility.”

Ochei argued that even though the alleged petitioner; Ekhator, Ekhator and Co chmbers had denied the petition on its letter head paper, “they resorted to the use of yet another fictitious address in the United Kingdom, by the name INTELLINGENCE WATCH, U.K. So far, all the addresses of the petitioners have been found to be fictitious which, ab initio, makes them a spineless, faceless group.”

He disclosed that while the two years duration of the contract is yet to elapse before an investigation or a probe can be considered necessary, more than eighty percent of the engineering design of the IPP project has been completed.

The Speaker added that “such a petition is baseless and a vile attempt to drag the reputable name of DAVNOTCH Nigeria Limited in the mud. The company has neither defaulted nor abandoned any of the jobs it was awarded. Without any iota of immodesty, DAVNOTCH Nigeria Limited has become a reference point in the delivery of quality jobs by an indigenous company.”

While clarifying the process of the contract, the Speaker noted that “We may excuse the ignorance of the petitioners who obviously are not familiar with the requisite process of executing a project of this magnitude. A Rolls Royce Gas Turbine is not something you merely pick like a generating set off shelf. Rather, it entails a job specification of good engineering designs, and it takes at least two and a half years to have all the components manufactured. Even then it is usually shipped as completely knocked down parts to the destination. Each of the Generators weighs over 100 tonne and therefore requires a high-capacity crane to offload it.”

Ochei also debunked claims that he served in the Delta State House Committees of Power and Energy.