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N11bn NPTF contract: ICPC interrogates DG budget, Ben Akabueze, others

Akabueze

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, yesterday,  invited the Director-General of Budget Office, Mr Ben Akabueze, in its ongoing investigation into alleged procurement of substandard equipment for the Police.

Vanguard had reported two weeks ago that some of the procured equipment by the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, NPTF, for the Police, including bullet proof vests and helmets, were below  standard, as the bullet proof vests were discovered to have protective shield in front  only, while the helmets were too small.

Consequently, the office where the equipment were stored was sealed, pending the outcome of ICPC’s investigation.

However, more findings have   revealed that some of the vehicles purchased with the  N11 billion intervention fund for the police were refurbished and not new ones as expected.

They were suspected to be used vehicles from war torn regions like Sudan and Libya.

Ordinarily, newly acquired Buffalo  vans  for security agencies come  in green camouflage  colour before they are painted to suit the colour of the designated security agency.

But in the case of those  procured by the NPTF, some of the vehicles allegedly arrived  in other country’s  colours before being repainted.

Vanguard reliably gathered that one of the vans blew up, while on motion to  venue of President Muhammadu Buhari’s son’s recent wedding in Kano State.

Sources further  revealed that  some medical equipment bought for the Police medical arm were allegedly substandard.

One of the items  said to be the  IV fluids, otherwise known as infusion drips, a sterile solution made of sodium chloride and water, came in sachets  instead of  plastic tubes.

Sources at NPTF explained that drips come in different concentrations either in bottles or sachets.

In the ongoing investigation, members of the NPTF Board and some directors are expected to appear before the ICPC at designated dates.

Questioning of top officials began on Monday, September 13,2021, with the Directors of Legal Services and Planning, Research and Statistics: Mrs  Victoria Ojogbane and  Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed , respectively.

Their invitation and time schedule as indicated in a letter signed by the Commission’s  Director of Operations, Akeem Lawal, slated  Tuesday, September 14, 2021 for the Director, Finance and Account ,Mr Lawal Gunjunju and  the Special Assistant Technical, by 10 am and 1 pm respectively.

For today, Mr Ben Akabueze , a Board member, is expected to appear  before the commission by  1pm, while Engr.  Mansur  Hammed, also a board member  and IGP Suleiman Abba, retd, the  Board chairman, are expected to appear before the commission  tomorrow, by  10 am and 1 pm respectively.

The invitees, according to the letter of invitation, are to face the commission with copies of all payment vouchers for over head, recurrent and capital for year 2020 and 2021.

The letter read: “ The invited staff  are  to come with the following documents as applicable to their office and schedule as well as original copies for sighting: two copies of all contract agreement for contract awarded from the take off grant and capital; copies of staff nominal role; comprehensive list of staff on transfer , posting and secondment ; vote for take-off grant; breakdown of all spending and approvals; print out of ledger vote and spending, all no  objection certificates from Bureau of Public procurement, BPP, and evidence of BPP clarification on contract award, financial limits and thresholds, procurement methods and thresholds of application and expenditure as related to NPTF”…

NPTF rejects President  Buhari’s office accommodation offer

Meanwhile, Vanguard gathered that the NPTF may have rejected an offer of a befitting office at Area 11, Garki, Abuja, by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The President was said to have given approval for  the use of two floors in the newly commissioned Pensions building to the NPTF.

The approved office  is said to be well furnished with chairs and tables , central air conditioners and an elevator  .

But the NPTF is yet to move into the building, as it currently shares an office with the Police budget office, a situation that leaves most of its staff roaming about , without a place to comfortably do their jobs.

Information at Vanguard’s disposal revealed that some senior officials of the NPTF are insisting on renting an office that will be exclusive to them.

An office space reportedly sourced for  that purpose is said to be N600 million per annum.

Vanguard learned that there is an ongoing cold war among some Board members as a result of this development. Vanguard

 

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