Obasanjo releases EFCC report on $16b power project spending

While still awaiting a fresh probe of his administration between 1999-2007, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday made public the report of the investigation conducted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in 2007, on various allegations, including that of the alleged $16b power project.

The 20-page report was the outcome of investigations based on petitions written by former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu and the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) and signed by its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

Kalu is now head of the mobilization committee for the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari

The report was made available to Journalists in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital by the former President’s Media Aide, Mr Kehinde Aknyemi.

The report noted that the former governor failed to meet with the investigation Panel to supply evidence to substantiate the allegations he raised.

“This was followed by series of telephone calls to all his houses both in Nigeria and abroad. A final appeal, through the publication of the invitation, was made in newspapers. All these spirited efforts were un-acknowledged as Chief Kalu declined the repeated invitations. The second petitioner, the Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran appeared before the Commission in Lagos and threw more lights on his write-up,” the report said.

On the power project allegation, the Commission reported that, “in the period under review, a total of N10, 776,493,271:84; $69,808,942:70; Euros 12,853,883:40 and UKP 8, 987,322:00 were paid to the various contractors. However, outstanding payments for the contractors stand at N11, 520,669,195:53; $375,435,687:37; and Euros 7, 257,552:91 pending the completion of the project.

“Further investigations also revealed that National Integrated Power Project is currently apace in six zones of the country for which about N1, 230,949,066,528:99 was committed by the federal government. The projects are also at different levels of completion but as at the moment of this report, N360, 714,147,700:03 have been paid out to contractors, leaving a balance of N870, 234,918,828:06 yet to be paid pending the completion of the project.”

On the Third Term agenda, the report indicated, “Investigations carried out could not establish a single source to show where the former President diverted public money to pursue anything of that nature and the key public institutions: NNPC, PDTF, and the State House Accounts were thoroughly investigated, including checks through the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) which did not reveal any illegal use of public funds. ”