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Ex-Akwa Ibom Gov. Victor Attah in trouble over N5.6bn

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Victor Attah

Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah is in fresh trouble.

Investigations revealed that the former governor in connivance with a faceless South African based company allegedly embezzled over N5.6 billion Naira meant for the construction of a Science and Technology Park in the state leaving the project uncompleted.

SecretReporters gathered that the Science Park which was meant to be a centre of research for universities, and an avenue for creating an enabling environment for capacity building in high-tech industries and services located at Afaha Oku, Uyo, was awarded to SBT Juul of 122 Pybus Road, 3rd Floor, Sandton, South Africa and registered with Corporate Affairs Commission with registration number RC 618773 as SBT JUUL Africa Ltd, with an office address at 43 Aka Road, Uyo and 10-03-2005 captured as its registration date. However, it was gathered that the ground floor of the four-storey building address is currently occupied by a beer parlor while the other floors are empty with no occupants. Enquiries made from the owners of the beer parlor and residents around the property reveal that no company with such name (SBT JUUL Africa Ltd) ever occupied the building or operates in the area.

More diggings reveal that the political veteran awarded the contract for the building of the Science Park on 27th September 2005 while in office as governor and immediately paid mobilization fee of over N820 million on 9th November 2005 to the faceless company. The formal agreement for the project was signed on 30th January 2006 with 18 months as the proposed date of completion howbeit 18 years after since the inception of the project; it is still below 5 percent completed.


It was also gathered that ICT components and equipment were imported, cleared and delivered to the site whereas the house to accommodate them was not in any way completed.

SecretReporters further gathered that before the expiration of Attah`s administration, the total cost incurred in the course of executing the project to its present status were as follows: Integrated Cognitive Technology at N196 million, Connect Technology Limited was paid N30 million, Ibom Science Park Account (other Expenditure) received N192, 783,326.00, making a total of N418, 783,326 (Four hundred and Eighteen million, Seven hundred and Eighty Three thousand, Three hundred and Twenty Six Naira) while Total Money Expended on the project was N5, 618, 783,326 (Five billion, Six hundred and Eighteen million, Seven hundred and Eighty-three thousand, three hundred and Twenty Six Naira).

However, in carrying out an in-depth analysis of the total work done, an estate valuer and an engineering consulting firm assessed the actual work done on the site and other components of the job and discovered that the work done does not in any way commensurate with the over N5.6 billion Naira paid to the contractors who are alleged to have bolted after receiving the money.

More appalling is the fact that the project was totally abandoned by the Godswill Akpabio`s led administration on the grounds that it was not feasible as it would collapse in the nearest future due to massive erosion in the area and the work done on the site is estimated to be a little over N400 million naira which does not in any way commensurate with the over N5.6 billion naira expended hence he cannot be part of such a corrupt scheme. This has left the 122 hectares of land meant for the construction of the park 18 years after to become farmland for residents in the area with only a few market-like uncompleted buildings and empty containers as its dividend.

Ironically, when one would have thought that the current administration under the leadership of Mr Udom Emmanuel will launch an in-depth probe on the whereabouts of the over N5.6 billion Naira allegedly embezzled by Obong Victor Attah in connivance with the inexistent SBT Africa Ltd, it was gathered that probably in a show of loyalty to his former boss and trying to atone for his sins of embezzlement, Governor Udom went ahead to recently sign another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with an Australian-based company with Chinese affiliations, SERGE Capital Investments Company Limited for the completion and management of the Ibom Science and Technology Park with allegedly over N10 billion Naira taxpayers money earmarked to resuscitate the Park.

The move by Gov. Udom Emmanuel may appear innocent and backed by his intention of completing all abandoned projects in the state, but many believe that it is a clearly thought out scheme to cover the corrupt tracks of Attah so as to avoid probe in future.

All efforts to get across to the former Akwa Ibom State number one man for his reaction proved abortive as his mobile lines were not reachable as at press time.

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INVESTIGATION

EFCC quizzes Kwara Govt officials, Sterling Bank staffers over N1 billion

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Information reaching this newspaper revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently quizzing some officials of Sterling Bank Plc and Kwara State Government following an alleged N1billion cash withdrawals by the latter from an account domiciled with the bank.
 
According to investigations, the money which was withdrawn at Sterling Bank’s Post Office, Ilorin branch on February 7, 2019 was allegedly disbursed a week before the Presidential and National Assembly elections.
 
The Kwara State Government officials arrested and being interrogated at the Ilorin Zonal Office of the anti-graft agency are Commissioner for Finance Nurudeen Banu; Accountant-General Sulaiman Ishola; Commissioner for Water Resources Yusuf Abdulkadir; Head of Service Susan Modupe Oluwole; Commissioner for Energy, Eleja Taiwo Banu; Chief of Staff, Abdulwahab Yusuf; officials of the Secretary to the State Government, and those of the Government House.
 
Findings show that the Sterling Bank officials also being interrogated – Rahaman Alimi, Akinleye Ademola, Olarewaju Sarafa and Rasaq Abolarin were said to have moved the said money in bullion van and personally delivered it to the Chief of Staff to the Kwara State Governor, Abdulwahab Yusuf.
 
The officials are expected to be arraigned before a Federal High Court in Ilorin next week.
 
…More details as events unfold
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INVESTIGATION

Election: APC alleges massive rigging in Delta South, calls for outright cancellation [VIDEO]

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Alleged Burutu Local Government PDP collation center where all wards and unit materials were allegedly hyjacked, thumprint and result written. The center was reportedly guarded by militants and located in unit 21 Ekoro in Ayakoromo creeks very close to late John Togo's militant Camp during the Niger Delta agitation.

The Delta State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC Campaign Council has alleged massive rigging by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in four local government areas, namely Warri South West, Bomadi, Burutu and Patani.

BIGPEN NIGERIA gathered that this is coming as unofficial results of polls coming from the aforementioned LGAs are currently in favour of all PDP candidates from the presidential to national assembly.

Three of the four councils are believed to be the stronghold of the PDP.

But Mr George Timinimi, the Campaign Director General of the Campaign Organisation of the APC governorship candidate, Chief Great Ogboru alleged that the PDP colluded with INEC official and ad-hoc to massively rig the local governments for the party after hijacking the electoral materials.

An amateur video footage of the alleged rigging in one of the locations in the riverine communities which was exclusively obtained by BIGPEN NIGERIA show a group of recruited youths manipulating and thumb printing ballot papers and result sheets for the LGAs.

According to Timinimi, the four LGAs were massively rigged and APC supporters harassed during the Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly election.

Timinimi also alleged that result sheets were not available in the few polling units and wards in the four LGAs where elections took place.

The APC chieftain in a statement accompanied by some amateur videos showing some persons allegedly thumb printing, said his party would not accept outcome of the election from the four councils.

 

 

Timinimi, a former Water Resources Commissioner during Chief James Ibori tenure of office as Governor, alleged that Ogbe-Ijoh ward 1 of unit 005, 006, 007 and 008 in Warri South West was fraudulently rigged and results formulated in favour of James Manager, the PDP Delta South senatorial candidate and other PDP candidates.

“As you can see above in Warri South West Local government area at Ogbe-Ijoh, in ward 1 of unit 005, 006, 007 and 008 in the riverine areas of the LGA the elections were characterised by massive rigging in connivance with INEC Officials which also include thuggery, harrasment and intimidation of voters and agents.

“It should also be noted that the above vices is what is inherent in Gbaramatu ward, Oporoza ward and Isaba wards of same LGA and that of Burutu LGA not excluding Bomadi LGA and the riverine areas of Patani LGA’S respectively.

“Meanwhile, in all of these Units and wards where few electoral materials were present, the result sheets for the units were missing completely.

“I therefore call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to outrightly cancel the elections in the aforementioned LGAs”, Timinimi wrote in a petition addressed to the INEC resident electoral commissioner, Dr Cyril Omorogbe.

 

Meanwhile, several efforts to reach James Manager were earlier rebuffed as he either picked his calls or responded to text sent to his mobile phone.

However after an hour, he left a missed call on the phone but when our correspondent called him back, he hurriedly said, “You know we are doing election and we are very busy, so can we talk later? When pressed further to react to the text and Whatsapp messages about this report,he reiterated, I can’t talk now, I am expecting a result from somewhere and we are collating”.

SOURCE: BIGPEN NIGERIA

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INVESTIGATION

LEAKED TAPE! APC Presidential Campaign DG, Rotimi Amaechi caught on tape again!

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“We are going to lose. I have packed my bags and prepared my handover notes.”
In what is undoubtedly the most damning statement on the eve of any election anywhere in the world, the head of General Buhari’s presidential election campaign has categorically given the verdict on today’s poll: the APC is going to lose decisively.
Amaechi has form for being caught on tape in the now infamous Amechi tapes that were leaked and played in a string of Twitter posts which caught the imagination of the Nigerian electorate over the last few weeks.
However nothing is as explosive as this revelation from him where he states “We are going to lose”, that has come to light just hours as the polls open today.
Not only does he admit the APC is headed for defeat but that he has known it for a while as he has used the time to prepare for his departure: ‘I have packed my bags and prepared my handover notes”.
The remarks were made in public a few days ago in a chat with journalists on a train.
What makes this revelation all the more extraordinary is that said this statement in the presence of other people so there is no room for denial or accusations of fakery or forgery.
What Amaechi says is in line with what political circles have been alive to for the last four weeks – that the APC was heading for a loss – ever since the PDP Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, visited America on 16th January and the Government made its major blunder with the unconstitutional suspension of the Chief Justice.
That was the moment when the political see-saw decisively tipped in favour of Atiku and ever since, many of the political assets previously on Buhari’s side have increasingly slid into Atiku’s lap.
With the torrent of endorsements from political parties, religious and ethnic groups to the silent departure of many of Buhari’s political supporters in his own party. APC Governors without quitting the party are covertly working to support Atiku in the Presidential race in exchange for being able to migrate to the PDP when Atiku takes office in May.
One of the world’s most famous political strategists, Lord Bell, (“Thatcher’s ad man”) who has worked extensively on Nigerian election campaigns said “The unravelling of the APC is like the unpeeling of an onion where after you have removed a number of the layers before you know it you end up with nothing.
Ever since the PDP Rally in Kano on 10th February which decisively showed ‘Buhari’s northern reboubt’ had fallen, there is an increasing ‘fin de le siecle’ (end of the cycle) feeling about this administration with a growing stench hanging around the coattails of the APC – the smell of decay, despondency and despair.”
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