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Groups berate anti-Etteh lawmakers, urge EFCC to probe NASS management

Posted by From TONY OSAUZO, Benin on 2007/10/11 | Views: 447 |

Groups berate anti-Etteh lawmakers, urge EFCC to probe NASS management


A civil rights group, Accountability Initiative Focus (AIF) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest the Director, Estate and Works in the National Assembly, Idris Mahdi, for his suspicious role in the contract scandal rocking the House of Representatives.

A civil rights group, Accountability Initiative Focus (AIF) has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest the Director, Estate and Works in the National Assembly, Idris Mahdi, for his suspicious role in the contract scandal rocking the House of Representatives.

The group in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Yisa Maliki and Secretary, Ben Anokwuru said on Thursday that a public servant, who speaks from both sides of his mouth cannot be trusted and therefore, it has become imperative that Mahdi be made to explain in details why he denied knowledge of a memorandum for the contracts for the renovation of the official residence of the Speaker, Hon. (Mrs.) Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, and her Deputy, Babangida Nguroje.

The group stated that, it smirks of conspiracy and sinister twist for somebody, who participated in the meeting, where he presented and defended the cost of the contract, to come before a panel to contradict himself.

"So the EFCC has to arrest Mahdi, first, for double speak and second, for lying on oath. His testimony looked like a choreographed acting in mischief, geared towards achieving a premeditated plan to nail the speaker," he said.

The coordinator further averred that the same Mahdi in the memorandum No.1 on the minutes of the meeting was quoted as informing the meeting "that the project, when completed, would ensure a high level of comfort and a sense of security for the occupant.

"He called on the body to note that the house was being renovated for the first time since 1999 when it was occupied. The director thereafter presented quotation received from some reputable construction companies that responded to the advertisement for the job which was pasted on the notice boards in the National Assembly for the consideration of the body," he stated.

Maliki said Mahdi could help the anti-graft agency to get to the root of the matter, and perhaps establish that the technicalities, which formed the conclusion of the probe panel was beyond the speaker of the House.

"It is an irony that an expert whose duty it was to direct the officers, could display such open misdemeanor, even after defending the project and the contractors before the body of principal officers and tenders board.

"Against the backdrop, also, we implore the members of the House to be careful not to fall into a ditch built by the so called public commentators who can research well before jumping to conclusion.


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