Contract Scam: Police Free To Probe Bank Officials


The coast is now clear for the Nigerian Police to continue the investigation of some staff of Diamond Bank Plc alleged to have been involved in monumental contract scam, as a Lagos High Court has dismissed a suit filed to stop the investigation.

In a fundamental enforcement suit filed before Justice Mojisola Ayoka Dada to halt the police investigation, Du Jour Events Management Limited and its Chief Executive Officer, Olu Oloowokere, had accused Diamond Bank of using the Nigeria Police to harass and embarrass them over an alleged contractual dispute between them.

The applicants averred that the dispute was purely civil in nature as it borders on business transaction.

According to the applicants, what led to the present hostility started when the bank was planning its 20th anniversary and called for tenders for the occasion which Du-Jour Management Company bided for and due to convincing and superior presentation, the company was awarded the contract to package the event in a befitting manner.

The package included, stage decoration and contracting notable Nigerian artiste that will perform at the occasion.

However, few days to the D-day and after so much money had been expended, the bank terminated the contract and asked for the refund of money so far paid but which had been expended one way or the other, while all explanations of the applicant to the bank that human effort, materials and funds that had been expended would be very difficult, if not impossible, to be refunded.

Diamond Bank, in its response filed before the court, alleged that trouble started when, as plan for its 20th anniversary celebration, the bank came up with the concept of an anniversary gala night and contracted the project to Du Jour Event Management Limited.

Few days to the event, the bank discovered that the contract was characterised with insiders’ collusion and abuse, as sub-contract of the event was awarded to some companies owned by some staff of the bank which negated the bank’s policy.

Consequently, the bank halted the execution of the contract and petitioned the Inspector General of Police to investigate the matter and fish out the staff involved in the contract scam.

In the course of their investigation on 7 July this year, some men of the Nigeria Police stormed the head office of Du-Jour Limited in Lagos and carried out some searches, while the office of Inspector General of Police later invited Olu Olowookere to Abuja for interrogation.

It was in the bid to halt police harassment and arrest that Olowookere and his company filed this suit before the court.

Justice Dada, after hearing the arguments of both parties, held that the application of the applicants lacked merit and was consequently dismissed.

Justice Dada said that the applicants did not dispute the facts in the bank’s claim that its petition to the police was against its staff and not the them and if they were consequently invited by the police in the course of investigation, such invitation did not amount to a breach of fundamental human rights and therefore upheld the right of the police under Section 4 of the Police Act, to investigate criminal allegations and protection of life and property.

Constituently, stated Justice Dada further, no court of law would grant an order restricting a statutory body from performing its statutory duties, therefore if Du-Jour and Olowookere had nothing to hide, it was strange that they were asking the court to stop an investigation directed to uncover allegations of fraud.

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