Power sector brouhaha: OBJ seeks to clear his name; releases Yar’Adua era EFCC report to prove his innocence - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Power sector brouhaha: OBJ seeks to clear his name; releases Yar’Adua era EFCC report to prove his innocence

Power sector brouhaha: OBJ seeks to clear his name; releases Yar’Adua era EFCC report to prove his innocence

OBJ releases Yar’Adua era EFCC report on $16bn power projects

The report of the 2007 investigation by the EFCC into the $16 billion power project has been made public by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The report was signed by the EFCC's former head of operations, Ibrahim Lamorde. Power sector brouhaha: OBJ seeks to clear his name; releases Yar’Adua era EFCC report to prove his innocence

- Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has released a 2007 report by the EFCC which reportedly cleared him of wrongdoing in the $16bn released for power projects

- The report indicated that Orji Uzor Kalu, who had written a petition against the former president, refused to show up and present any evidence to support his allegations

- The EFCC reportedly concluded that going by the evidence from its investigation, OBJ could not be directly linked with the allegations

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The report of the 2007 investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into the $16 billion power project has been made public by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Daily Trust reports.

The 20-page report against the former president was signed by the EFCC’s former head of operations, Ibrahim Lamorde. It was titled “Investigation report: Alleged conspiracy, fraudulent conversion of funds, abuse of office, foreign exchange malpractice and money laundering.”

We gathers that the investigation was carried out, following petitions received from the former governor of Abia state, Orji Uzor Kalu, and the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) signed by its chairman, Debo Adeniran in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

However, the anti-graft agency pointed out in the report, that Kalu refused to honour invitations extended by its investigation team; and also declined to provide evidence to give credence to his allegations.

The report stated: “This was followed by series of telephone calls to all his houses both in Nigeria and abroad. A final appeal, through the publication of the invitation was made in newspapers. All these spirited efforts were unacknowledged as Chief Kalu declined the repeated invitations.

“The second petitioner, the Chairman of CACOL, Mr Debo Adeniran, appeared before the Commission in Lagos and threw more lights on his write-up.

“Letters and/or physical visits were made to various government ministries, parastatals and agencies where the team had discussions with the officials and requested them to provide information regarding the allegations made by the petitioners.”

According to the report, “immediately the first petition was received, a team was constituted to look into the various allegations made and ensure that proper investigation is conducted.

“However when the second petition arrived, upon its review, it was found to be similar, and was therefore compounded with the initial one to enable both investigations enjoy a seamless process and optimization of human and logistic resources.

“Investigators were mandated to visit, invite, and interview any individual or group that could assist in the investigation. They were also directed to interview and obtain documentary evidence from any of the government’s agencies mentioned in the petition.”

On the power project allegation, the anti-graft agency reported that, “in the period under review, a total of N10, 776,493,271:84; $69,808,942:70; Euros 12,853,883:40 and UKP8, 987,322:00 were paid to the various contractors.

“However, outstanding payments for the contractors stand at N11, 520,669,195:53; $375,435,687:37; and Euros7, 257,552:91 pending the completion of the project.

“Further investigations also revealed that the National Integrated Power Project is currently in six zones of the country for which about N1, 230,949,066,528:99 was committed by the federal government.

“The projects are also at different levels of completion but as at the moment of this report, N360,714,147,700:03 have been paid out to contractors leaving a balance of N870,234,918,828:06 yet to be paid, pending the completion of the project”.

The Commission concluded that: “Going by the evidence from the facts assembled during the course of the investigation, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo could not be directly linked with the allegations.”

This development follows a previous report by NAIJ.com that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had started investigating the alleged $16 billion spent on power during the administration of former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

On Tuesday, May 22, President Muhammadu Buhari had queried the expenditure on power during the Obasanjo administration. The ex-president had subsequently replied by expressing his readiness for a probe.

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