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$16bn scam: AC wants Obasanjo probed

Posted by By Sun News Publishing on 2008/10/13 | Views: 1599 |

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$16bn scam: AC wants Obasanjo probed


The Action Congress (AC) has tasked on President Umaru Yar’Adua to direct the anti-corruption agencies, especially the EFCC, to investigate the role played by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the frittering away of $16 billion released for the country’s power sector between 1999 and 2007, following the report of the house committee that probed the expenditure.

The Action Congress (AC) has tasked on President Umaru Yar’Adua to direct the anti-corruption agencies, especially the EFCC, to investigate the role played by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the frittering away of $16 billion released for the country’s power sector between 1999 and 2007, following the report of the house committee that probed the expenditure.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said that the committee, going by its recommendations as reported by the media, was unambiguous in calling for the probe of the former President.

For the avoidance of doubt, the AC quoted part of the recommendations, as reported, thus: "In view of the enormity of issues entailed in the findings above, it is recommended that former President Olusegun Obasanjo should be called to account for the recklessness in the power sector during his time. The committee recommends that EFCC and ICPC should investigate him."

AC said that a major issue concerning the mishandling of the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), as discovered by the committee during its televised public sitting, was the granting of waivers to several contractors to receive huge payments without commensurate work done, all in the name of fast-tracking the projects.

But in the words of the committee, rather than fast track or facilitate completion of the projects as envisaged, the waiver of due process "became the major plank that facilitated payments to contractors and consultants that have failed to perform, at the expense of the nation and the power industry."
"This is nothing short of economic sabotage, which should attract the urgent attention of the EFCC," the party said, noting that President Umar Musa Yar’adua has now run out of excuses not to swing into action to probe the former President and all those indicted in the recommendations.

It said during his tenure, Obasanjo would not have waited for such a preponderance of evidence before unleashing the EFCC against anyone, especially his perceived political enemies.
"Obasanjo made a big deal out of due process and transparency during his stormy tenure. That is good. But as it has now been revealed, he was selective in his application of due process. This is double standard, and he must be made to answer for that," AC said.

"After all, this dispensation places so much emphasis on the rule of law, which entails, among others, that no one is above the law, no matter how highly placed. This is another chance for the Yar’Adua administration to walk the talk, as they say," it added.
AC also warned against any attempt by the house to water down the report, saying the whole country is watching how the recommendations of the committee will be handled.
It said all the recommendations, including the purge of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria to enhance its performance, must be implemented to the letter.

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