Just like the popular saying, what goes around comes around, is typical phrase that can be used to described the scenario and action that played out in 1991 when Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar Esq. who was the then Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Bauchi State, under the then military administrator of Bauchi State Brigadier General Abu Ali Rtd. On 13th January, 1988. as learnt by universalreporters247.com, a contract for the construction of Balanga Dam, in the old Bauchi State was agreed between Bauchi State Government and Unicontractors (Nigeria) Limited in which the contract was awarded to Unicontractors.
However, in 1991 when Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, Esq was the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Bauchi State, he “selfishly” advised then Military Administrator of Bauchi State, Brigadier General Abu Ali Rtd to revoke the contact from Unicontractors, allegedly to re-award it to another company brought by his cousin brother, Ali Kumo and base upon the revocation of this contract, Unicontractors went to court to seek legal redress.
As it is, findings by this medium, shows that One Haruna Deke Muhammed Senior Council 1 in the state Ministry of Justice who has now been nominated for the position of a commissioner in the State by Governor Mohammed Abubakar, was the one who represented Bauchi State Government then; and now Governor Mohammed Abubakar allegedly wants to bring him back to make him the Attorney General of the State, obviously to handles issues for him whenever the need arises. H. D. Mohammed, as he was popularly known, has been Mohammed Abubakar’s “boy” for decades.
It would be recalled that in a petition to the Bauchi State House of Assembly, signed by the trio of Usman Idris, Alhaji Hassan Muhammed and Salisu Usman Manager asked the State Assembly members not to screen Mohammed Deke Haruna owing to fact that he was not originally an indigene of Bauchi State and that he only resides in the state.
Universalreporters247.com learnt that the of Court case between Bauchi State Government and Unicontractors in which the same Muhammed Haruna Deke was the Senior Counsel that represented Bauchi State saw the State Government losing the case and the court awarded damages.
In the suit filed in 1991 with suit number BA/45/91 between Unicontractors as the Plaintiff and Bauchi State Government and Bauchi State Water Board as the Defendants, where the Plaintiff through his counsel, Mr. Irrorokpo C. C. filed an action against the Defendants in which he claimed;
- A declaration that the Defendants has breached the contract agreement
- General Damages for Seven Million US Dollars for repudiation of the contract agreement by the defendants.
- Special damages by way of quantum merut (which means “as much as he deserved,” the actual value of services performed. Quantum meruit determines the amount to be paid for services when no contract exists or when there is doubt as to the amount due for the work performed but done under circumstances when payment could be expected.) (1). $5,142,000.00 (Five Million One Hundred and Forty Thousand US Dollars; (2) N1, 715,000.00 (One Million Seven Hundred and Fifteen Thousand naira.
Universalreporters247.com findings from the court documents showed that, when the case began Unicontractors called one witness in the person of Rudolf Mandarago, its Managing Director all in a bid to prove their case. Meanwhile on the part of the Defendants – Bauchi State Government and the Bauchi State Water Board, they didn’t call any witness but rather relied on the case of the Plaintiff and his documents.
However, the then Chief Judge of Bauchi State, Hon. Justice S.S. Darazo while delivering his judgement said; “I have reviewed the submissions of both counsels, it is clear in every civil matter the court must put in the evidence on imaginary scale whichever outweigh the other gets judgement. This case is very peculiar as there is absolutely no evidence on the side of the Defendant It is trite law that pleading without evidence goes to no issue. I have perused the exhibits in particular, Exhibits ‘A’ dated 13/11/88 which for all intents and purposes is a contract agreement I have no doubt in my mind that the Plaintiff and the Defendants had entered into a contract on that date. I am very mindful of article 12 which clearly states that any dispute arising between the parties concerning the implementation of the agreement should be mutually settled falling which it goes to arbitration. It is in breach of this article that the Defendants went ahead to breach the agreement by their letters of 7/3/89 and 21/6/89 which the Defendants themselves titled Contract for Gombe Water Supply Scheme. It is clear the Defendants knew and intended and in fact, entered a contract with the Plaintiff. It is quite clear that from the terms of Exhibit ‘D’ the Defendants must have envisaged that the Plaintiff would make efforts to execute his own side of the contract and in the process would obviously incur expenses.”
Speaking further in his summation the Judge said; “I have clearly therefore found that there was a contractual obligation between the parties and the Defendants by their Exhibits ‘F’ and ‘F1’, are in breach of such contract.
It is also my firm belief that the Plaintiff was not treated fairly by the Defendants and has also incurred expenses as shown by the Managing Director, Rudolf Mandarago, the only witness called by the Plaintiff. This court being a court of justice and equity has a duty to see that justice is done to both parties. I have with all sense of fairness considered the staggering amounts claimed by the Plaintiff which are not in any way challenged.”
According to the Judge, he said; “See the case of FCDA V NAIBI (1990) 5 SCNJ page 187 ratio 4 where the SC stated pleadings cannot constitute evidence and a Defendant who does not give evidence of his pleadings or in challenge of the evidence of the Plaintiff is deemed to have accepted the facts adduced by the Plaintiff not withstanding his general traverse. The Defendants did not challenge the Plaintiff’s evidence but rather sought refuge on terms of the contract. It Is not in any way either feasible, reasonable or acceptable the contention of learned counsel for the Defendants that the contract was frustrated but rather the contract was breached without regards to article 12 contained therein.”
“I have no hesitation minding that the case of the plaintiff is accordingly proved. Now the crux of the matter is the remedy to assuage the wrongful termination of his contract. I must say that I would be inequitable though not unjust to award damages in favour of the Plaintiff. I do also consider the fact that Gombe Water project is still not undertaken. I accordingly order that the parties despite waiver of clause 12 in their agreement do resort to it.”
“I hereby order the parties to enter into a mutual discussion with a view to either restore the contract or pay the Plaintiff damages to be agreed between the parties. Judgement is hereby given in favour of the Plaintiff; I commend the industry of both counsels.”
However, the order of the court was not followed and as such the Plaintiff instituted a garnishee proceeding against the Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria, at the Federal High Court with suit no. FHC/ABJ/M/538/2003 and, subsequently secured a “garnishee order absolute.” Based on this garnishee order absolute, the Federal Finance Ministry and Central Bank of Niger were “ordered to pay $12,107,782.84 out of the share of the first judgement debtor in their hands standing to the credit of Bauchi State Government, Debtor, over to the Judgement Creditor through the Deputy Chief Registrar Federal High Court, Abuja. In a letter dated 9th September, 2016 and addressed to the Bauchi State governor Mohammed Abubakar, Federal Ministry of Finance intimated him of the garnishee order absolute against the Ministry and CBN and also how the Ministry got approval of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to comply with the order absolute.
The federal Ministry of Finance letter signed by the Director Home Finance, Mr. Auwal A. Maidabino, for the Honourable Minister, stated that N1,785,666,099.50 be deducted at source from the statutory allocation of Bauchi State Government in favour of Unicontractors Nigeria Limited.
It is also on note that in a protest letter Governor Mohammed Abubakar wrote 26th October, 2016, replied the Ministry of Finance, a reply that the Ministry didn’t heed to.
A source who is familiar with the matter when contacted said, “Bauchi State has not been fair to herself. This contract was awarded in the old Bauchi State, which included the present Gombe State. And the water supply contract was in Balanga, which fell under Gombe State, when it was carved out of Bauchi.”, he said.
The source, who did not want to be mentioned stated further that, “Instead of Bauchi State to seek the hands of Gombe, having now being the beneficiary of the contract, in resolving this decades old case, she decided to waste time and resources pursuing a futile exercise.”
“I think everything was the fault of the current governor of Bauchi state Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, who incidentally was the Attorney General of the state when the contract was awarded, revoked and re-awarded. He clearly and selfishly misadvised the state into revoking the contract in the first place, thereby costing us a staggering $12.1 million, which in present exchange rate is over N43 billion.”, the source lamented.
Meanwhile, keep a date with universalreporters247.com. The medium will bring you the details of wrongdoings allegedly carried out by the same Muhammed D Haruna when he was the secretary of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by former governor Isa Yuguda to investigate the administration of former governor Ahmadu Adamu Muazu and, how he allegedly received kickbacks from some persons and companies, and removed their names from the list of those to be probed by the judicial commission.
See Documents Below: