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PENCOM boss, Aisha Dahir-Umar accused of fraud, abuse of office

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Aggrieved staff of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), has accused the acting Director-General of the commission, Hajiya Aisha Dahiru-Umar of fraud, flagrant violation of procurement process and abuse of office.

In a petition sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by staff of PenCom under the aegis of Pension Reform Advocacy Group and signed by its coordinator, Isyaku Abduralman, the staff alleged that upon the resumption of duty of Dahiru-Umar, PenCom entered into a phase of tragic demise. The group further alleged that in the last one year, the commission have witnessed brazen financial recklessness, gross incompetence, nepotism and mismanagement of material and human resources.

  

READ THE FULL PETITION BELOW:

We, the concerned and aggrieved staff of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), are writing to inform and brief the Commission (EFCC) about the state of the PENCOM where we all work and contribute our quota to nation building, progress and development of our fatherland. You would recall, Sir, that there was a change of management of the Commission in 2017 where the PenCom Exco was removed and required to hand over to the most Senior Staff Member of the Commission. We are at a loss as how the person of Mrs. Aisha Dahiru-Umar was saddled with the responsibility of leading the Commission in Acting Capacity since she ought to have retired since December 2016. Furthermore, she has spent all her time in the Commission in the facility management and lately in the CSR Department due to her severely limited intellect and as such lacks the regulatory competence required to head the Commission.

It is without doubt that the two previous Excos made remarkable progress in institutionalizing the Commission’s long term developmental strategy, especially in the core areas of daily operations, infrastructure and welfare enhancement of all staff. It was clear to all and sundry that Pencom was being directed to a glorious path evidenced by consistent factual milestones.

Unfortunately, however, upon the resumption of duty of Aisha Umar, Pencom entered into a phase of tragic demise. We have, in the last one year, witnessed brazen financial recklessness, gross incompetence, the most extreme form of nepotism and mismanagement of material and human resources. These ills have essentially engendered Staff disillusionment and a general feeling of helplessness and despondency. This is truly unfortunate Sir.

A chronicle of the fraud and insider dealings going on in the Commission shall follow in turn Sir.

 

  1.  CONTRACT SCAMS AND DEMAND FOR KICKBACKS

There is large scale financial impropriety and graft going on in the Commission at present. Contractors have been inundated with constant request for kickbacks from Aisha Umar during contract negotiations (Evidence Available), without which the said contracts are diverted and given to another company that is ‘willing to do business’. Legitimate contractors who have since fulfilled their deliverables are being owed and are told to come for “discussions” otherwise they will not be paid.

Most reprehensible is the malicious illegal stalling of the Pension Administration Project (PAS) for the simple reason that the American Company who have emerged the preferred bidders are not willing to engage in talks for kickbacks. Sir, contrary to the falsehood that is being peddled by her, we would like to bring it to your attention that the PAS project had been ongoing for over a year and the Commission has expended a lot of resources to document the steps required to fully automate its regulatory activities. The procurement process commenced with the issuance of a Request For Proposal (RFP) and culminated in the issuance of a no objection from the Bureau of Public Procurement. We gathered that the no objection arrived in the Commission shortly before the management change. Since then, instead of Aisha Umar to move it forward, she and her evil cohorts have been trying to get the BPP to cancel the contract. Following a letter drafted by Sani Mohammed, the Commission Secretary/Legal Adviser (CSLA), the BPP in rejecting the request to cancel the contract, faulted the points raised by Mohammed Sani as lacking in legal merit reprimanded the Commission with a stern warning to immediately finalize the procurement process. This technology ought to have been installed since last year, without which the Micro-Pension initiative, a major milestone of the administration cannot take off.

A sinister group of Ekanem Aikhomu, Datti Mohammed, Sani Mohammed also unilaterally awarded contracts to whom they please and back it up with bogus evaluations which they instruct Mr. Bako Mohammed, a long time criminal associate of Aisha Dahir Umar, to process. Mr. Bako Mohammed who has been undergoing investigations for rent seeking activities, was returned to procurement to facilitate Aisha’s nefarious transactions.

Cases abound with proof of companies and contractors who were and are still unduly engaged without recourse to proper procurement and bidding processes. For instance, an actuary firm, RBA Limited who has close ties to Ekanem Aikhomu was paid N60 Million for nebulous services without due process being followed. This is in contravention of all procurement laws and due process. This group of individuals have continued to help themselves in a most wanton manner to the coffers of the Commission and have subjected those against their activities to frequent changes of their departments as a way of subjugating them so that they will not expose their clandestine activities. They reward the faithful with incessant trips out of the country sham “overseas training” to keep them loyal.

We appeal that a thorough investigation be carried out to unravel this reprehensible activity and secure the immediate return of all monies to the Commission as leaving this unchecked is antithetical to the anti-corruption stance of this noble administration. The ‘Kickback regime’ style now in Pencom which was NEVER the case essentially renders nugatory the efforts of our indefatigable President in curbing the menace of corruption in our body polity.

 

  1.  MEDIA SCAMS

Frequent singing off of huge public funds in the name of media and sensitization programmes, a large chunk which is usually pocketed by the Aisha Umar and two of her cronies; Mr. Peter Aghahowa,who is currently the head of Communications in Pencom and Mr. Tunde Philips who is the South West Regional Head, based in Lagos is now the order of the day. The office of the DG has a statutory approval limit of N2.5M, and Aisha Umar has continued to squander funds by signing multiple payment vouchers daily just under the capped limit thereby providing a slush fund for embezzlement by her and her cronies. Part of these funds are used to lobby various stakeholders in furtherance of her desperation to be confirmed as substantive DG. She has also used part of these funds to purchase two brand new 2018 fully loaded Lexus Jeep cars. This transaction was facilitated by Tunde Phillips who, again, with funds siphoned from “media enlightenment” arranged a door to door trucking delivery from Lagos to her residence in Stallion Court, Wuse 2, Abuja.

A cursory look at the books will reveal this fact. We do not believe in hearsays neither do we engage in wishful thinking, the facts are there. An investigation into the media and sensitization programmes in the Commission and the funds disbursed in the past year under the subhead will reveal dirty deals perpetrated by Aisha Umar in furtherance of her personal aggrandizement and a desperate bid to secure a confirmation as substantive Director General.

 

  1.  RECKLESS DIVERSION OF PUBLIC FUNDS

There is rather incestuous utilization of Government funds to settle the Acting DG’s personal expenses. Again, a cursory look into the TSA account of the Commission will reveal diversion of Government funds into personal business of Mrs. Umar under various guises. A most perfidious phenomenon on this score is the quest for collection of humongous travel allowances for seminars, courses, sensitization programmes and other ‘events’. She collects all the monies for the aforementioned – local and international – without making an appearance in any of them. This can be verified from local and international airlines and the events themselves. She is ALWAYS represented at functions for fear of her ignorance of the entire pension reform being exposed. She studiously avoids engaging with the public and yet she collects allowances for such appearances.

This is a gross violation of public service rules and regulations. Sadly, while President Buhari’s administration has made tremendous strides in cutting cost and entrenching improved service delivery, the reverse has been happening in Pencom for the past one year. We have evidence of phantom contract engagements which huge public funds have been appropriated for. It is disheartening that such level of graft is going unchecked and Aisha Umar has been boasting that she has ‘settled’ very important people and no one can investigate her. These are verifiable facts and we urge you to correct this wicked stance by conducting a full scale investigation so that Pencom can be cleansed, returned to its former glory and further be strengthened to achieve its laudable mandate. To allow the continuation of these crimes unchecked would send the wrong signals to the contributors and retirees alike whose interest we seek to preserve and protect.

 

  1.  300% INCREASE IN THE TERMINAL BENEFITS OF GENERAL MANAGERS

Aisha Dahir-Umar together with some General Managers have plunged the Commission into financial abyss by recommending and unilaterally appropriating a salary increase for all cardres of staff to gain support for the clueless and incompetent leadership of Aisha Dahir-Umar. What the staff are just finding out however is that she surreptitiously embarked on a 300% increase in the terminal benefits of GMs. Terminal benefits, as we are all aware, are paid at the end of service of a public servant. However, right now in Pencom under the machinations of Aisha Dahir-Umar, the GMs have started paying themselves upfront and enjoying terminal benefis while they are still receiving salaries!! This is a gross violation of public service rules and all known rules of engagement. The question is who approved the humongous package? At what point was the approval obtained? And by whom? Where are the supporting documents? It is quite obvious that the sinister group made up of Ekanem Aikhomu, Datti Mohammed, Sani Muhammad and Aisha Dahir-Umar have pushed for this unhealthy increase. With the active connivance of Sani Muhammed, the Commission Secretary and Legal Adviser who has been falsifying memos to mislead the Office of the SGF, Aisha Dahir Umar pulled off this heist to the detriment of the Commission. As a result, the Commission’s financial health is now at grave risk, staff are unable to pursue their regulatory activities because basic supplies like photocopying paper and ink cannot be provided as funds have been diverted by Aisha Dahir-Umar. As we write, terminal benefits payments are being disbursed in instalments so they would have received all illegally appropriated funds in the event of their eventual sack. We cannot continue like this if we hope to build a formidable system and process to drive the change we so desire.

It is worthy to note that the level of ineptitude and incompetence displayed in her absolute lack of capacity to manage a blue chip organization like PenCom is responsible for the numerous major policy somersaults in the Commission today. For example, the Commission has witnessed more than three reshufflement exercises in less than one year in order to “silence” perceived dissenting voices. In addition, she has been engaged in running battle with the management of the Creche. We understand that she is bitter at the transformation of the Creche which was a cesspool when it was under her watch and wants to shut it down. It took the intervention of a high ranking official in the Presidency for her to pay the backlog owed. She was overheard furiously exclaiming that the high ranking official cannot command her and only paid a portion of the amount owed. She issued a termination letter to the Creche providers and shortly afterwards (no doubt following outcry by staff) hurriedly retrieved it and issued another letter of appointment but still wickedly slashing their engagement fees.

She has recklessly promoted staff to the General Manager cadre, bringing the number to seventeen (17!) from 10 last year. These General Managers, some of whose job functions are unclear (a GM is heading a protocol unit hitherto manned by a staff seven notches below the grade of a GM) and whose wages and allowances are now exceeding the emoluments of the highest paying multinational companies in the country. The question Sir, is what hope do we as employees have for career progression if the General Managers are seeking to perpetuate themselves in office? According to the staff policy, GMs are promoted based on availability of space and funds and several existing GMs ought to have retired before any promotion was done, but this was ignored as Aisha Umar claims to be above all rules and regulations.

 

  1.  RESUMPTION OF NEWLY EMPLOYED STAFF

Last but not the least, Sir, is the clandestine recruitment that is being carried out by Aisha Dahir-Umar to supplant 43 persons who had been issued letters of employment since March 2017 for resumption in May/June 2017. These people were verbally directed by Mrs. H, Oniyangi not to resume work on the instructions of Aisha Dahir-Umar. No reasons were given to these 43 staff, most of whom had resigned from their previous employment and are now unemployed as a result of the Aisha Umar’s reluctance to absorb them despite appeals from all and sundry.

Upon their several petitions to the Office of the SGF, again, as is in consonance with her criminal character, she has lied copiously to the SGF, citing abnormalities and need for time to provide requisite infrastructure. An enquiring mind should ask: what infrastructure is required for a new staff besides a desk, chair and a computer? Provisions were already in process for this in March 2017, hence their resumption in two batches of May and June. What abnormality? There were requisite approvals by EXCO based on the memoranda from both finance and HR (Sani Muhammed is in custody of the excerpts and MUST produce them from where he has been directed to hide them by Aisha Dahir Umar) and following oral and written interviews, successful candidates were forwarded to the Federal Character Commission for a no objection. This was granted and it was based on this that the employment letters were issued by Mrs. Oniyangi.

We have since discovered that the real reason for preventing the resumption of staff is because a secret employment is being undertaken by Aisha Dahir-Umar to swap the 43 positions with her own candidates. Sources claim that in her greedy fraudulent quest for money, she is charging each candidate N2M per slot! We are all aware of the grave implications this would have on the society at large. These newly employed young men and women have families who depend on them and have been made to remain in limbo for the past 13 months. We believe strongly that the candidates have the right to resume work having been issued  valid letters of employment and shoul not be subjected to the inordinate greed and criminality of Aisha Umar.

Notwithstanding the foregoing; the illegality of her position is glaring. In accordance with the Commission’s approved staff policy, she ought to have retired from the Commission since December 2016. She, therefore, could not have been the most senior person in the Commission as at April 2017 following the disengagement of the EXCO. Flowing from this, she has no legal basis to occupy the seat, award contracts, employ new staff and increase allowances and pay herself double salaries – salary of a DG and a GM. This may well be the basis for brazen impunity in siphoning public funds – there is no career to protect.

We implore the Commission (EFCC) to urgently intervene and thoroughly investigate the financial frauds being perpetrated by Aisha Umar and her cohorts who are bent on destroying the gains of Pension Reform over the past decade.

Thank you.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Isyaku Abduralman

For: Pension Reform Advocacy Group

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INVESTIGATION

Customer battles Cosmos Maduka’s Coscharis Motors over N24m

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These are not the best of times for Coscharis Motors, owned by Mr. Cosmos Maduka as Mr Olusina Sofola has dragged the company  to a Lagos Magistrate’s Court, sitting at Igbosere, over a defective Jaguar car valued at N24.15million sold to him.

The claimant is demanding N9.5million, as general damages, resulting from the inconveniences suffered as a result of the defective supposedly brand new Jaguar car sold and delivered to him, by the defendants.

Sofola is further asking for an order of court directing the defendants to replace the Jaguar XJ 2.0 Sedan Automobile with chassis No SAJAA12NIFPV79999 and engine No 040914054912204PT, with a new one of the same specifications.

He  is also seeking an order directing the first defendant to refund N148, 335, being the excess on the N1,097,035.17, paid by the claimant for the purchase and replacement of the cracked windscreen.

He also asked the court to declare that the defendants breached the warranty given to the claimant upon the purchase of a brand new Jaguar XJ 2.0 Sedan Automobile and that it also breached the duty to deliver a fit for purpose brand new Jaguar to the claimant.

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Sofola in his particulars of claim said that on December 7, 2016, he purchased a black coloured 2015 model Jaguar, the XJ 2.0 Sedan automobile from the first defendant for N24,150,000.
He said that the purchase of the car came with a three year warranty, adding that the warranty stipulated that he would enjoy the car without problem.

According to him, upon delivery of the car together with its documentations, he noticed on the same day of the delivery that the three years warranty pack included as part of the car maintenance package had been removed.

The claimant also noticed that there was a problem with the closing of the car bonnet, and that he made a complaint and was advised to take the car back for adjustment. A few days later, he said he also noticed that the car was showing maintenance due sign, with the dash board and certain other parts of the interior of the car peeling and being very sticky to touch. He said he made a complaint to one Mr. Umokoro, an official of the first defendant, who promised to sort out the issues and further assured him that the defective parts complained of would be ordered and re-installed in the car, while the warranty service pack would be restored.

The claimant who resides and carries out business at Ikeja, said barely a week after the purchase of the car, he had to return the Jaguar to the Awoyaya office of the first defendant. However, the defendants in their response denied some of the claims of the claimant, stating that the car was delivered to the claimant in good condition.

They stated that the terms of warranty only covered certain problems that the car may have during the period warranted. The defendants also said that at the time of the delivery of the vehicle to the claimant, the warranty/service pack of the Jaguar automobile sedan was in the globe compartment of the vehicle which also contains the hand book alongside the owner’s manual.

They averred that the claimant was not entitled to replacement of the Jaguar automobile sedan as there was no such provision in the warranty. The firm also averred that the ordinary summons of the claimant was baseless, frivolous and calculated to reap funds from the defendants. Consequently, the firm asked the court to dismiss the suit and award substantial cost against the claimant.

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INVESTIGATION

Fresh plot to blackmail Amnesty Programme boss, Charles Dokubo uncovered

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Prof. Charles Dokubo

A new plot has been hatched aimed at tarnishing the image of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Prof. Charles Dokubo.

The plot, which is already in its advanced stage, is orchestrated by individuals who have failed in their bids to force Dokubo to award contracts to them.

This newspaper gathered that Prof. Dokubo has severally turned down overtures by those behind the plot, and now to get at him, they have resorted to blackmailing him.

In one of the campaigns of calumny, an online portal had reported award of fictitious contracts to the tune of N3.2 billion within a period of one month to two companies allegedly fronting for the Amnesty Programme coordinator.

But in a statement signed by special assistant on Media to the office, Murphy Ganagana, urged members of the public to ignore the alleged N3.2billion contract scam report.

The statement however noted that it was not the wish of the agency to ‘dissipate valuable time and energy in recapping the “wholesomely fallacious report’’.

According to him the online portal from which the story emanated had become notorious in purveying fake news and promoting blackmail to nauseating level, adding that the attempt to drag the image of the highly revered wife of the president, Mrs. Aisha Buhari and the National Security Adviser, General Babagana Monguno, to the mud to score a point was appalling.

The statement read in part: “To put the records straight, we wish to state as follows: It is true that a contract for empowerment of 300 Niger Delta youths in oil and gas instrumentation was awarded to Messrs. Glassfa Continental Ltd, and another contract for training and empowerment of 400 delegates in coastal fishing was awarded to Innotek Royal Services Limited.

“However, the two contracts in question were beyond the threshold of the Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme. Therefore, in line with statutory guidelines and regulations, a Due Process No Objection was sought and obtained from the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) vides a letter OSAPND/GCL/VT/2018/11010 dated 19th October, 2018. Consequently, approval for award of contracts to the two companies was granted by the BPP.”

It added that contrary to the allegation that payment had been made to the two companies even though work has not commenced, “we wish to state with emphasis that no dime has been paid to any of the two companies. It is pertinent to state that processes leading to payment of 15 per cent of contract sum are yet to be completed for the two companies which have not been handed delegates for training. Files of the two companies on the contracts have not reached the Prof. Dokubo’s table.

“On the allegation of 30 companies discovered to have been perpetrating contract fraud worth billions of Naira by an external auditing committee said to have been inaugurated by Prof. Dokubo, it existed only in the imagination of the publishers of Pointblanknews as NO such committee was inaugurated at the Amnesty Office under Prof. Dokubo, and no contract fraud was unearthed at any time.”

The office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under Professor Dokubo has witnessed substantial achievements in the last one year. On assumption of office on March 13, 2018, Charles Quaker Dokubo, an erudite professor and nuclear scientist had a clear mandate: to retool the programme to make it more robust and impactful for the enlisted ex-agitators in the Niger Delta with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable peace and development in all facets of the region.

Barely three months on, precisely in 100 days, leaders and stakeholders in the Niger Delta, are convinced of President Muhammadu Buhari’s quest to transform the region through the instrumentality of the amnesty programme with the appointment of Prof. Dokubo who they describe as a messiah that has come to chart a new path for the programme. Their conviction is apparently based on his sterling performance and achievements within a short period.

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INVESTIGATION

Exposed: Kogi State Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja delves into oil sector, acquires Enyo filling stations

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The controversial and exuberant Chief of Staff to Kogi State Governor, Edward Onoja is desperately plunging billions of Naira into the oil and gas sector of Nigeria economy, LeadingReporters can authoritatively revealed.

A discreet investigation carried out by this online platform has revealed that Edward Onoja, aside from investing and acquiring Enyo Filling Station, is desirous of becoming a major player in the downstream oil sector within the shortest possible time.

Our investigation further revealed that there are currently more branches of the filling station springing up in States like Plateau, Benue and other States within the North Central region. A source who spoke to LeadingReporters on condition of anonymity revealed that Onoja is cashing in on the office he currently holds sway to amass wealth, knowing too well that tomorrow is not guaranteed politically for him.

“He is massively investing in the oil and gas, estate and agriculture. He owns the largest stake in Enyo Filling Station and he is plunging billions of Naira to ensure a faster spread of the filling station, first within the North Central Region and then to every part of Nigeria. He wants the services it offers to rank among the bests and the biggest in Nigeria. He seems determined. Above all, there seems enough money to pursue the vision”

Recall that Edward Onoja has been at the center of most political controversies in Kogi State. Kogi State has become notorious for promoting policies that do not better the lot its citizens, especially the civil servants. Furthermore, thuggery, and gun running have allegedly become the order of the day in Kogi State, under the Yahaya Bello APC-led government.

Kogi is ranked the worse in terms of payment of salaries, and gratuities to serving and retired civil servants.

– Source: Leading Reporters

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