Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, ICPC, says it has recovered from two former senators equipment meant for constituency projects.
The equipment were traced to Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom northwest) and Isa Misau (Bauchi Central Senatorial District), through the ICPC’s Constituency Projects Tracking Group initiative.
The commission’s spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
PREMIUM TIMES in June reported that the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission commenced the tracking of constituency projects in 12 states.
The commission said about N2 trillion was spent on constituency projects in Nigeria since 2000, without commensurate development at the grassroots.
According to the statement, the ICPC said six tractors meant to be distributed to farmers in the six area councils of the former Bauchi senator were recovered.
The anti-graft agency said the tractors were part of N430 million contract for the supply of agricultural machinery to farmers in the district, which was awarded in 2015.
The commission said the CPTG team for Bauchi State discovered that N76.6 million was paid for the tractors in December 2015 and were supplied in March 2016.
It added that the team discovered that the tractors were not distributed as required in the terms of the contract.
The ICPC said Mr Misau met with officials of ICPC in Bauchi and claimed in a written statement that the tractors were kept in Yuli village.
The agency further said efforts in tracking the location where the tractors were kept were unsuccessful. It said some of the intended beneficiaries who were interviewed claimed not to have ever seen the tractors in the village as claimed by the former senator.
”In the effort to trace the tractors, Isa Misau, the then-Senator under whose auspices the project was included in the budget to be executed by the MDG office, met with officials of ICPC in Bauchi and in a written statement claimed that the tractors were kept in Yuli village.
”However, the CPTG team did not find any of the tractors there and some of the intended beneficiaries who were interviewed claimed not to have ever seen the tractors in the village as claimed by the Senator.
”The Senator, who was later contacted on the telephone by the CPTG team, to ascertain the actual location of the tractors, could not offer any positive explanation during the conversation.
”The CPTG team however gathered through intelligence that the tractors were being hurriedly moved to Ganjuwa local government headquarters and it then proceeded to the place to take custody of them,” ICPC said.
The anti-graft agency also said it had also recovered hospital equipment meant for constituency project on the premises of Mma Obot Foundation, allegedly belonging to Mr Akpabio.
”Among the recoveries so far made by the CPTG team are dialysis machine, ECG monitor, oxygen regulator, Anaesthetic machines, generators and other hospital equipment meant for a cottage hospital in Ukana, Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, from premises of Mma Obot Foundation, alleged to belong to Senator Godswill Akpabio.”
Mr Akpabio, whose middle name is Obot, is amongst 42 Nigerians nominated as ministers by President Muhammad Buhari and confirmed by the Senate this week.
The CPTG assessment reviews constituency projects across Nigeria. It is carried out by the Commission and its partners: Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Bureau of Public Procurement, Budget Office of the Federation, Premium Times, BudgIT and Udeme.ng.
The project is aimed at ensuring satisfactory execution of all Constituency Projects across the country.
It has so far led to multiple recoveries of items, hospital equipment, vehicles, and funds. It has also forced many contractors who hitherto had abandoned projects to return to the site to complete them.
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