Perhaps those who have attempted to down play the $16billion National Independent Power Project contract awarded by former president olusegun Obasanjo, knew well that the stench would soar to high heavens, if the dirty linens that have stake the lower legislative chamber over the issue are eventually made public.
Keen observers have been left with little doubt that the whole contract affair was a mindless dive into the cesspit by the principal actors involved in the National Independent Power project, NIPP.
Though the Obasonjo regime oozes pungently with odor, fresh revelations have revealed that companies handling the Independent Power projects have been using the project as a conduit pipe to defraud the Federal government of Billions of Naira.
In a petition to the vice president, Mohammed Namadi Sambo, and the chairman Board of Directors, Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) by a society for good governance organization, the group serially accused NDPHC of using Pseudo Company to defraud the NIPP of billions of Naira.
In the petition signed by Benson Moses, the Executive Director of the group, dated January, 15 2013, the group drew the attention of the presidency to the rot in the NIPP and the Niger Delta Holding Company.
The petition highlights the incidences of blazon pillage, stealing and allege recklessness currently going on in NDPCH.
The group states that “These incidences represent the face of a decadent culture rooted in corruption”
The group noted that one of the veritable platforms of stealing huge sums of money from NIPP and laundering same is “what is now known as “over payment” to EPC contractors in a hazy and questionable circumstances.
As at last count, over one hundred and fifty million U S Dollars ($150,000,000) has been paid to some EPC contractors as over payment” Benson stated.
Continued, the petitioner stated that “ another one Hundred and fifty million US Dollars ($150 ,000,000) was paid as overpayment to SEPCO III Electric power construction Corp of China, the EPC contractor executing the 750 MW Papalanto combined cycle power plant in Omotosho, while over $120,000,000 was paid to Marubei west Africa(A Japanese Company) . The project consultants (PCs) employed by NDPHC to supervise those projects played an active role in this over payments”
This corruption revolves round the General Manager Contract management, Ije onojeme, the Executive Director Engineering Division, Mr. Louis Edozien and Anthony Ugonna Muoneke, the Executive Director, Finance and administration.
To perfect the tradition of fraudulent transactions that have become a hall mark in the NIPP projects since inceptions, Mr. Anthony Ugonna Muoneke recruited one Ije Onojeme into the NDPHC, and appointed her as the General Manager contract Division, a position which he created for her.
The appointment of Ije has raised more questions than answer, whether as an Executive Director, Anthony Muoneke can appoint a general manager without the Board approval.
Again the petitioner alleged that two of the Executive Directors in NDPHC have no requisites qualifications to hold the office they are holding, for instance Ije Onojeme, who did not participate in the NYSC scheme, but has allegedly been parading herself as a Lawyer.
Investigations have revealed that , the projects Consultant (OSKA-JO &PARTNERS) for the 750 MW combined cycle plant who connived with the Directors in endorsing the payment, is being rewarded with contract extension for projects consultancy service in the sum of N=200,000,00 ( Two Hundred million)
Also mentioned in the petition is the insurance coverage for the NIPP plant to the tune of $9,000,000.
In clear violation of the provision of the procurement Act 2007, no advertisement was placed in any National Dailies for the engagement of insurance companies for the services, the management in a move that smacks of fraud and circumvention of the Board of NDPHC, Messrs. Anthony Muoneke and Louis Edozien alongside their arrow head in insurance Azubuike Ameachi, awarded the contract to some foreign insurance companies through the back door.
Section 15 of the procurement Act 2007 makes the procurement Act to all procurement of goods, provision of the procurement of goods, works and services by the Federal government of Nigeria and all procuring agencies including NDPHC to which the Act applies to comply with the requirements of the Act, also to issue “No objection” certificates for contracts Awards evidencing compliance with the Act.
In these instant transactions, there was no “objection” certificate, for a contract in the sum of $9,000,000 and the laid down procedure for the advertisement of such contracts in at least two National Dailies.
Investigation further reveal that, this is coming a month after the engagement of Pollen Ltd for Gas consultancy services (Legal and commercial Services) in a carefully manipulated bidding process in which the NDPHC will be paying over a million Dollars, in a year, for a job that can be done internally.
The petitioner wants the NDPHC and the Bureau for public enterprise investigated over way leave, claims and variations. “Way leave, claims and variations are internally arranged with community and the contractors involved with some elements in the Bureau of public procurement, aiding and abetting the corrupt practices”
Documents, payment vouchers made available to us show that the management of NDPHC has so far paid over twenty Billion Naira as way leave, compensation.
According to the group, “it is all internal arranged to loot the intervention Funds of NDPHC and over 75 percent of the money goes into private pockets of top management staff of NDPHC. The arrow head of this corrupt practice is one Mr. Ben Iroha, the over 70 year’s old man, who retired from PHCN, currently the Head of Environment in NDPHC”
Mr. Iroha is currently the subject of investigation by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) owing to a petition which unraveled his stupendous wealth; believed to have been fraudulently acquired.
But when contacted Yakubu Lawal, the Deputy manager/Head Communication and public relations, NIPP, embarked on narratives on the improvements of power supply in the country.
Source: Global Village Extra