NIGERIA: How House Awarded Contracts to Fictitious Companies

A Federal High Court in Abuja was   Tuesday told how  the House of Representatives under the leadership of former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, allegedly awarded contracts to companies with unverifiable addresses.

The court was also told that some of those companies supplied addresses that turned out to be false at the resumed hearing in Bankole's trial before Justice Elvis Chukwu.

Bankole is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for offences bordering on abuse of due process in the award of contracts and abuse of office.

Yesterday, third prosecution witness, Ibrahim Ahmed, told the court that he was part of the team that investigated a petition written against Bankole in 2010 by an ex-member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye.

Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Festus Keyamo, Ahmed told the court that upon his team's receipt of the petition, it swung into action by obtaining documents relating to the 2008 capital budget.

He said his team also wrote to the Accountant General of the Federation seeking details of the releases to the National Assembly.
He said: "From the documents given to us, we identified the names and addresses of the contractors.

"We did a physical verification of those addresses and discovered that some of these addresses never existed or the contractors' offices were never located there.

"With this discovery, we wrote to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)  and requested for the corporate status of the companies. Details of the companies were given to us.
"We wrote invitation letters, based on the details we got from the CAC, inviting the Managing Directors of these companies.

"After sometime, those letters were returned to us undelivered and we were informed that some of these addresses do not exist. We were further informed that the letters were dispatched by Universal Parcel Services (UPS) and the reason they gave was that these letters were never received because the addresses never existed."

Ahmed said when shown copies of the undelivered letters by Keyamo, the witness identified them, following which the prosecution tendered the about nine letter in exhibit.

The letters written in 2010 were addressed to the Managing Directors of seven companies. The companies include Wadatan Global Company Limited, Multigate Resources Services Limited, Perfect Concept Ltd, First Impression Limited, Exim Venturecs (WA) Limited, Nanfang Motors Nigeria Limited and Chiwanna Nigeria Limited.

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