Presidential committee indicts 300 contractors, recovers N7bn, orders refund of N41bn

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Abuja  –  The committee set up to probe contracts awarded by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) from 2011 to 2015 has indicted more than 300 companies and prominent citizens.

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This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday night by Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to the statement, over N7 billion has so far been recovered from the indicted companies and individuals who include serving and retired officers of the armed forces.

It stated that N41 billion was to be refunded by the indicted companies, while further investigation by the EFCC had been ordered to determine whether N75 billion should be recovered from some of the companies for unexecuted or partially executed contracts.

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The statement maintained that the committee further established that one of the indicted companies, Societe D’Equipment International, was overpaid to the tune of 7.9 million euros and 7.09 million U.S. dollars.

“The committee, which is different from the committee that is investigating defence arms and equipment procurement, discovered that there was a total disregard of salient provisions of the Public Procurement Act in the award of contracts by ONSA.

“Several contractors were apparently overpaid, while others were given full upfront payments, contrary to their contract terms and agreements in force.

“There was also evidence of payments to individuals and companies by ONSA without any contractual agreement or evidence of jobs executed.

“The committee further discovered that some companies failed to meet up their tax obligations for contracts executed,’’ the statement said.

It further disclosed that the committee had made attempts and succeeded in recovering some funds from these individuals and organisations, which amounted to N3,537,549,223.04; 8,000,000 dollars and houses worth N512,000,000 from 32 companies.

It said that the committee also established that some individuals and companies received monies without evidence of contractual agreements or jobs done, saying that the amount received by these individuals totalled N7,104,925,000.

Besides, the statement said that the committee asked some companies that failed to execute contracts or did so partially to make refunds.

It stated that the total amount to be refunded was N19, 896,539,125; 43,771,433.73 million U.S. dollars and two houses in Abuja worth N260 million.

It also said that the committee also revealed that 15 companies were awarded contracts which required further investigation to ascertain the real status of their contracts.

It said that the total value of the contracts awarded in this category was N11,726,571,161; 202,136,890 million dollars and 4,114,752.96 euro.

The statement listed the companies investigated by the committee to include Abrahams Telecommunication Limited and Value Trust Investment Limited (RC 1050628 and RC133792); Bilal Turnkey Contractors Limited (RC 616389) and Circular Automobile Limited (RC 953549).

Others are Continental Project Associates Limited (RC 1201210), Da’voice Network Solutions Limited (RC 658879), Foretech Investment Limited (RC 759046), Forts and Sheild Limited (RC 1148793), GDP Associated Limited (RC 830715) and Hakimco Automobiles (RC 904389).(NAN)

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