Firm petitions Osinbajo over fraudulent sale of Kaduna DISCO

Power Lines [Photo:]
Power Lines used to illustrate the story [Photo:]

A company that emerged reserve bidder in the sale of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, LEDA Consortium Ltd, has petitioned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, over the fraudulent sale of the company by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE).

The company wrote the vice president seeking justice, following a protracted trial and failure of the BPE to return the ownership of the company to the reserve bidder after the preferred bidder’s failure to meet requirements within the stipulated time provided by law.

In the petition seen by PREMIUM TIMES, the director of the company, Ken Egbunike, urged the vice president, who is the chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, to reverse the sale of Kaduna DISCO, and hand it over to the reserve bidder.

In December 2014, a Federal High Court in Abuja gave an order retraining the BPE from transferring the controversial Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Disco, to the preferred bidder, Northwest Power Limited (NPL).

The court order was on the request of the reserve bidder, LEDA Consortium Limited, following the refusal of the BPE to invite it to complete the Share Purchase Agreement of the Kaduna DISCO after NPL failed to pay the remaining 75 per cent of its bid price after several extensions of the deadline.

According to a copy of the court order seen by PREMIUM TIMES in December 2014, after listening to the arguments of counsels to the plaintiff and that of the defendant, the court ruled that both parties should “maintain status quo with regard to the subject matter of the suit pending the determination of the defendant notice of preliminary objection.”

LEDA had approached the court after what it termed BPE’s “brazen violation of set contractual obligation” and said BPE seemed set to perpetually extend the deadline for Northwest to complete the payment of the bid price.

In its originating summon, LEDA asked the court to declare that the defendant cannot arbitrarily and /or repeatedly extend the time prescribed for payment of the 25 per cent initial deposit considering the sale of the Kaduna Disco and the 75 per cent balance in favour of any or (preferred) bidder without regard to the inputted contract in the bid process on the bases of a uniform rule set by BPE.

It also asked the court to rule that “any belated payment of the bid price for Kaduna Disco by any or the preferred bidder after the expiration of the specific time is void as against the reserved bidder and cconstitute a breach of contract duty of the defendant.”

LEDA asked the court to issue “an order setting aside or annulling any belated receipt of payment by the defendant of the 75 per cent balance of the bid price from any or the preferred bidder.”

Contacted on the matter on Monday, the Director-General of the BPE, Benjamin Dikki, argued that the agency never breached the law since the preferred bidder, Northwest Power Limited, had met its obligations.

“The preferred bidder has fully paid and taken over the company since 4th December 2014,” Mr. Dikki told PREMIUM TIMES.

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