…“It’s fake, forgeries” – MD NPA
by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
In what appears as but a common wealth looting, the office of the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and that of Managing Director (MD) Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), have been accused of multi-billion naira contracts scandal amounting to N57 billion.
A petition letter addressed to President of Nigeria through Chief of Staff office made available to our correspondent, dated 13th June 2023, is alleging that the AGF office fraudulently diverted the contracts sum totaling N57 billion.
The petition, signed by Barristers E.O. Abadaki and O.G. Balogun & Co. of No.18 Gwagwalada/Dukpa Road Abuja, FCT, for clients stated that the N57bn contracts was fraudulently awarded by NPA to various contractors and companies, who innocently but genuinely bided for the contracts.
Titled, ‘Fraudulent diversion of contracts by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, ranging to the sum of N57 billion fraudulently awarded by the NPA to various companies, who innocently but genuinely bided for the contracts,’ the solicitors noted that 15 clients companies bided for contracts.
“We act as Solicitors to Mr. Emmanuel Otokpa, acting for himself and on behalf of the companies/contractors (hereinafter referred to as our clients) on whose instruction we write this petition and or complaints against the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA),” the solicitors stated.
“With all sense of responsibility, we have our clients’ authority and mandate to state in this Petition that sometimes in June, 2022, the NPA made a publication for qualified companies to bid or submit tender for award of contracts, ranging from general supplies, contracts, procurements and furnishing, among others.
“The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice contacted our Clients to mobilize companies to apply/bid for the award of contracts from the NPA, and pursuant to the foregoing, our Clients/companies accordingly indicated interest and mobilized their companies to bid for the contracts.
“By a letter dated July 19, 2022, the AGF personally recommended our Clients’ companies to the management of the NPA for consideration and award of the contracts.
“And by the NPA’s response letter to the AGF, dated December 22, 2022, the first batch of contracts in the sum of N30 billion (Thirty Billion Naira) was awarded by the NPA to fifteen (15) of our Clients’ companies.
“The AGF letter of recommendation, dated July 19th, 2022, and the NPA response letter of notification of contract award, dated December 22, 2022, are hereby attached for your perusal and necessary actions.” the petition stated.
Accordingly, the petition also added that “It is pertinent to state that: The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and the management of the NPA merely used our Clients’ companies to siphon the mobilization of 85% of the total contact sum.
“That the office of the AGF and NPA conspired and diverted all the contracts awarded to our Clients’ companies to themselves, hence the office of the AGF collected the award letters in the name of our clients’ companies directly from the NPA since February 27, 2023, but failed to release same to our Clients’ companies.
“This is a clear indication that they have diverted the contracts and siphoned the 85% mobilization fee of the contract sum.
“In the light of the above, our Clients’ companies’ instruction, therefore, is to bring the above information to your knowledge and to further keep you informed that the office of the AGF and NPA fraudulently used their companies to divert or siphon the whopping sum contracts sum in the tune of N57 billion from NPA coffers.
“Take further notice that our Clients’ companies were never involved in the fraudulent contract dealings embarked upon by the office of the AGF and the management of the NPA, relating to the above mentioned contracts.
“In the circumstance, our Clients’ companies hereby solicit for the proper award of the contracts to them for execution, having incurred expenses for the tendering and bidding for the said contracts, which were officially awarded to them by NPA, but fraudulently diverted. It is our fervent hope that the necessary investigation be carried out by your office in due course,” it stated.
Contacted for clarification, the MD of NPA, Muhammad Bello Koko, however, dismissed the allegations, adding that the said contracts and letters of award of the contracts “are all fake and forgeries, and does not exist.”
The MD, who refused to pick his earlier calls for ‘attending public function,’ later responded through WhatsApp chat with promised to call back later, but never did.
He also stated in same chat that his media staff will call and response to the allegations raised but the said media staff, who spoke, pleaded not to be quoted on grounds that he is just media friend and not media staff as claimed.
His words: “I will call you. I am in a public programme. No, I am not aware (of the petition). We will provide answers, if we know the issues. I will call you. And my media staff will call you also. You can ask him to respond and he will. While asking to know the response of the media staff, he questioned thus: What did he say?
“I will give you our staff whom it will be credited to. Those contracts and letters of award of the contracts are fake and do not exist. They are forgeries,” MD stated.
All efforts to speak to Malami personally or through two of his aides, when contracted, also proved abortive as the aides refused to speak or provide Malami’s direct contact number. In fact, the aides denied any connection with him when they eventually picked calls, reluctantly, with expression of aggression.
Some of the victim contracting firms are: Netword Nigeria Limited, Fazone International Limited, Nimco Construction Company Limited, Gomek International Service Limited, Moonlink Investment Company Limited, Rotiphleck Nigeria Limited, Planiampianti Engineering and Construction Limited, Alina Design and Build Consulted Nigeria Limited, and Westfield Consulting, respectively.