The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has reacted to a report that its inaction led to sinking of two ships with their content- petroleum products – which had been forfeited to the federal government following court orders.
This Day newspaper had reported, on Monday, how EFCC brushed aside “several warnings by the Nigerian Navy” on the need to evacuate products from the two vessels – MT GOOD SUCCESS and MV THAMES – before they sank on November 5, 2016 and February 27, 2017 at the NNS Pathfinder Naval Base in Port Harcourt respectively, denying the country of huge revenue.
The newspaper said an auctioneer, Pinnacle Trading and Investment Nigeria Limited, earlier appointed to dispose the products later had its appointment terminated by the EFCC, three days before the second vessel sank.
But in its reaction via a statement by its spokesperson Monday evening, EFCC explained that it terminated the contract with Pinnacle after discovering irregularities in the process leading to the contract award in the first place.
It said the company was not qualified, having failed to “satisfy the required due diligence and strict procurement process.”
EFCC said since the termination, the company and “their supposed backers” had resorted to media war, subtly discrediting the This Day report.
However, the commission did not offer categorical explanation with regards to the part of the report that its inaction led to the sinking of the two vessels, neither did it deny the loss.
Read the full EFCC statement below.
The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a report captioned, “EFCC Inaction Causes Sinking of Petroleum Vessels”, which was published on This Day newspapers of April 10, 2017.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission wishes to state that, the engagement of Pinnacle Trading and Investment Nigeria Limited, as auctioneer for the disposal of the product, which was conveyed vide a letter dated January 16, 2017 was irregular as the process leading to the company’s emergence didn’t satisfy the required due diligence and strict procurement process.
The engagement of a consultant like in the case of Pinnacle, was not solicited for, as it did not have the approval of the Acting Chairman of the Commission. It was also not advertised in any newspaper of the Federal Tenders journal. This is a clear violation of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.
The review of the process led to a startling revelation that Pinnacle Trading and Investment Nigeria Limited was not registered with the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, a key requirement for the selection of such auctioneer, and consequently lacked the experience and capacity to handle the job.
Fully conscious of the negative effect of a flawed selection process to the outcome of the process, the Commission called for a review of the selection process, a measure that consequently led to the termination of the contract.
Following the termination, Pinnacle and their supposed backers have been doing the media tour in the mistaken belief that the Commission would be forced to re-engage an already flawed process.
The Commission wishes to re-emphasis that its actions are transparent and always anchored on the Nigerian national interest as opposed to selfish interests.
In regard to the matter of ‘MT GOOD SUCCESS’ and ‘MV THAMES’, the Commission will, as in all instances, be guided by the need to be transparent and accountable to all Nigerians and will not succumb to cheap blackmail in any guise whatsoever.
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