21st July, 2010
Five civil society groups in the country have met with the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC), Hon Justice Olayinka Ayoola in Abuja and delivered to him the reports of the investigations by the House of Representatives on the power sector and on the un-remitted revenue of the federation, urging the ICPC to â€œurgently take action on the reports.â€
The groups also met with Mr Salawu Bello of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), who represented the director of operations.
The groups are: the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP); Committee for Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch, Center for the Rule of Law (CENTROLAW), and the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADL).
In a statement dated 21 July 2010, and signed by SERAP Executive Director Adetokunbo Mumuni; CDHR President Olasupo Ojo; NBA Ikeja Branch Adebamigbe Omole;Â NADL Vice President Titilope Akosa; and Â CENTROLAW Director of Programs, Tejumade Oke, the groups said that, â€œYesterday, we had a very successful meeting with the ICPC Chairman, Hon. Justice Olayinka Ayoola at the ICPC Secretariat in Abuja, where we presented the reports of the power sector probe for the period June 1999 and May 2007; and of the non-remittance of received public revenue into the federation account by ministries, departments and agencies between 2003 and 2008.
â€œHon. Justice Ayoola and his team warmly received us and promised to urgently work on the reports. At the EFCC, we met with Mr Salawu Bello, who did not know whether the reports were already submitted to the EFCC but promised to make enquiries on this and get back to us. Nevertheless, we gave him copies of the two reports.â€
According to the groups, â€œOn Thursday 31 January, 2008, the House of Representatives passed a resolution HR/07/2008 mandating its Committee on Power and Steel to conduct comprehensive and thorough investigation and public hearing into how huge sums of money was expended on power generation, transmission, and distribution between June 1999 and May 2007 without any commensurate result.â€
The groups also said that, â€œAt the end of the investigation, the Committee submitted its report to the House in which it found that the sum of $13.28 billion was expended on the power sector during the period with further unfunded commitment of over $12 billion. The Report exposed serious financial, technical and legal irregularities in the power sector. The most striking revelation was the flagrant disregard of Sections 80(3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution. Specifically, the Report concluded that looting of the National Treasury through the National Power Project (NPP) and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) greatly diminished national capacity to provide electric powerâ€¦â€
The groups also quoted the Report as saying that â€œWhat senior officials and politicians did is an economic crime against humanity which has caused Nigerians not only financial loss but also inestimable mental and physical sufferingâ€.
The groups quoted the Report as recommending the following persons for prosecution by the ICPC and EFCC: Chief Olusegun Obasanjo former President of Nigeria; Senator Liyel Imoke, former Minister of Power and Steel; Alhaji Abdulhamid Ahmed, former Minister of State for Energy; Dr. Olusegun Agagu, former Minister of Power and Steel; Engr. Joseph Makoju, former Managing Director of PHCN; Engr. G.O.P. Osakue, CEO Transmission Company of Nigeria. (TCN); Engr. Dr. C. E. Ifesie. Project Manager NIPP; Engr. Mike Ezeudenna, AGM TCN; etc. Engr. C. N. O. Nwachukwu, Chair Technical Committee of NIPP;Â and Mr. J. A. Olotu, MD, NIPP.
Others reportedly recommended for prosecution include: Engr. I Onuoha, Dep. Chair Technical Committee of NIPP; Engr. Emmanuel Okonkwo, Project Manager Distr. NIPP; Engr. Tope Onadipe, Project Manager Gas, NIPP; Mr. J. C. W. Balami, Head Finance, NPP AGM Finance PHCN; Engr. Ayodele, GM Tech. Serv. PHCN; Engr. Sam Gekpe, MD/CEO Rural Electrification Agency; Mr. P. M. Chigbo. Electricity Corp, of Nigeria; Mr. S. S. Hayatu, Electricity Corp, of Nigeria.
Several companies including Rockson Engineering/ Rockson International; Pivot Engineering; Marubeni West Africa and Marubeni International; Lahmeyer International; and ABB Powerlines, were also reportedly recommended for prosecution.
The groups also submitted the report on the investigation into non-remittance of received public Revenue into the Federation Account by MDAs between 2003 and 2008.
According to the groups, the report â€œfound that between 2003 and 2008, about Four Trillion Naira collected by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the area of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Withholding Tax (WHT), Value Added Tax (VAT) and Operating Surpluses were not remitted into the Federation Account contrary to the provisions of Section 162 of the Constitution which provides that â€œthe Federation shall maintain a special account to be called â€œthe Federation Accountâ€ into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except in few excluded cases.â€
â€œWe are concerned that findings of the investigations indicate serious violations of the Nigerian Constitution and international anti-corruption obligations and commitments including under the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Combating and Preventing Corruption, both of which Nigeria has ratified,â€ the groups further stated.