A Petition of Corruption against Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Niger Delta

The Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Abuja.

Dear Sir,

A Petition Of Corruption, The Flagrant And Continued Breaches Of The Public Procurement Act, 2007 Against Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister Of Niger Delta.

We are constrained to submit this humble petition to you over the apparent corrupt practices and flagrant and continued breaches of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 against Elder GodsdayOrubebe, Minister of Niger Delta, supported by facts and documents made available to us, reveal the following unassailable facts:

1.   Elder Godsday Orubebe, Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs (MNDA) is not a leviathan, he is a public officer bound by the laws of Nigeria including the Public Procurement Act, 2007. He has subscribed to the oath of allegiance contained in the 1999 Constitution(as amended) by virtue of which he is bound to conduct his duties in such a manner that his personal interest ought not to conflict with his duties as a Minister.

2.   The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs (MNDA) was created in the year 2008 to address the lack of infrastructure and equally tackle youth restiveness.

3.   In the light of the above, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs proposed the construction of Skills Acquisition Centres in each of the 9 Niger Delta States for the purpose of developing and harnessing the abundant skills and talents available in the region.

4.   Further and in addition to the above, contracts were awarded for the construction of Skills Acquisition Centres in all the 9 states of the Niger Delta.

5.   Against the recommendation of the Bureau of Public Procurement, that the contract for EdoState be awarded to Messrs Halgold Nigeria Limited the Minister of Niger Delta, Elder GodsdayOrubebe in flagrant violation of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 insisted thart the contract be awarded to Messrs TDCI – Sew Consortium.

6.   Be it noted the contract for the award of Skills Acquisition Centre in Edo State was initially awarded in March 2010 for 2.7 billion naira but was voided by the MNDA without explanation and re-awarded to Messrs Halgold Nigeria Limited for N3,150,065, 136.03 (three billion, one hundred and fifty million, fifty five thousand, one hundred and thirty six naira, three kobo) in March, 2012. However, the Minster again cancelled the award of the contract in 2012 was re-awarded toMessrs TDCI – Sew Consortium on June 15, 2012 for the sum of 4, 627,222,904 without due process as will be shown infra.

7.   At the time Tenders were opened on 14/3/2012 for the Skills Acquisition Centres in Edo State, Messrs TDCI – Sew Consortium whom the contract was re-awarded to was never a registered company. This was contrary to the established practice of awarding contracts to registered companies.The Certificate of Incorporation of Messrs TDCI – Sew Consortium is hereby attached.

8.   Messrs TDCI-Sew Consortium was indeed registered on the 18th of June, 2012, yet he bidded and was awarded the Contract. This was clearly three days before Certificate of No-Objection was issued to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs in favour of Messrs Halgold Nig. Limited. Rather than comply with the Certificate of No-Objection issued by the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) in favour of Halgold Nig. Limited, the Minister wrote a damaging letter to the BPP insisting that Messrs TDCI-Sew Consortium be awarded the contract. A copy of due process review Report for award of contracts for Skills Acquisition Centres dated July,2012  is attached and the attention of the Chairman is drawn to the comments of the Director General, BPP and Section 26.1.0 .

9.   Further to the paragraph supra, the BPP in its Reports at page 72 further advised that the unit rates of Messrs TDCI Sew-Consortium was excessively high and cannot be justified. Messrs TDCI Sew-Consortium has a share capital of 15 million Naira only, yet was awarded a multi-billion naira project. Aside from this fact as the due process Report indicated, Messrs TDCI Sew-Consortium is a consultancy outfit with no track record in construction.

10.                The Bureau of Public Procurement having noticed all the discrepancies in the award of the contract to Messrs TDCI-Sew Consortium concluded that “due process certificate of no-objection cannot be granted to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for the re-award of the contract for construction of Skills Acquisition Centre in Edo State in favour of Messrs TDCI- Sew Consortium in the sum of 4,627,222,904 but that certificate of no-objection can be granted to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs for the…contract in favour of Messrs Halgold Nig. Limited in the sum of 3,150,065,136.03”(see pages 73, 25.10 and 25.20 of the Report.

11.                Inspite of the above, the MNDA wrote a Letter to the BPP making a case in favour of Messrs TDCI-Sew Consortium with reference No. MNDA/ID/247/Vol.IT /88 of 2nd July, 2012. The substance of the Letter is/was that the MNDA made a strong case for Messrs TDCI-Sew Consortium despite the conclusions of the Bureau I 9 above.

We are Anti-Corruption Network, a non-profit, non-partisan and neutral non-governmental organization focused on the eradication of corruption and corrupt practices amongst public officers in Nigeria.

Haven notice the above violation and the reported statement of the Bureau of Public Procurement to the effect that 70% of the contracts awarded by Elder Godsday Orubebe’s Ministry were in violation of the Public Procurement Act, we have therefore conducted enquires to the award of contracts in the Ministry and we were shocked to notice a wholesome corrupt practices brazenly perpetrated by the Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe.A copy of the statement credited to the Bureau of Public Procurements is attached for your perusal and record.

Cognizance should also be made to the fact of apparent official compromise and collusion as the fund released so far by the Ministry to its contractors did not correspond nor justify the quantity or percentage of the work done.

In the light of the foregoing, we hereby demand that an investigation be conducted into the corrupt practices and flagrant breaches of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 by the MNDA in order to prosecute him (Elder Godsday Orubebe) and any other indicted person(s).

We thank you for your mutual belief in the rule of law.

Yours faithfully,

OTUNBA DINO MELAYE

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

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