Allege Corruption in FCDA: NUJ gives Minister 7 days Ultimatum
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abuja Council has stated that it has become inevitable for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in view of fresh revelations on alleged massive corrupt practices in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), headed by Senator Bala Mohammed to begin investigation.
Chairman of Council, Mr. Jacob Edi in a statement Monday, said at a time when government was considering cutting cost and imposing harsh economic policies on the people, the FCT minister and his management team have continued to waste tax payers' money on non-existent projects as recently discovered by the Senator Smart Adeyemi Senate Committee on the FCT.
Edi continued that even when such projects exist, there were usually over-inflated given an example of the Kubwa expressway as well as the Vice president's residence.
The NUJ chairman observed that unless the EFCC moves in and begins a thorough investigation into the award of contracts in the FCTA by Mohammed since his re-appointment, then the fight against corruption was dead.
Only recently, the Senate Committee on FCT discovered that the official residences of the Senate President, his deputy, Speaker of the House of Representatives and his deputy which were awarded for over N3billion could not be located when the committee went for oversight functions.
It was further discovered that there was 120 percent increase in the cost of the contract of the official residence of the vice president which was originally awarded in October 2009 at N7 billion but unilaterally reviewed upward to N16 billion.
According to the NUJ chairman, the FCTA had awarded a road in Kuje Area Council since March this year and paid the full contract sum of N880 million with less than 5 percent of the job done though the road is scheduled for completion in about 3weeks.
Edi hinted that the NUJ would not shirk its responsibility of holding the FCTA accountable to the people of the territory and reiterated the determination of the Council to use the Freedom of Information Act to get the minister accountable.
He disclosed that the NUJ Abuja has written the minister and would wait for the mandatory seven days and if the minister fails to furnish the Council with details of all roads and infrastructure contracts awards then the NUJ would be left with no alternative but to seek legal redress.
Edi charged Nigerians to give support to the Senate Committee on FCT as it works to ensure that the FCT administration was accountable.