ACTION Congress of Nigeria has described the failure of the Federal Government to prosecute the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, for abandoning a N2.3bn contract by Benue State as an official endorsement of corruption.
Value Trust Limited, a company owned by Okupe, was said to have abandoned the contract after collecting about N886m of the contract sum.
According to the party, on several occasions in the past, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had proffered criminal charges against individuals and companies who received money for the purpose of the execution of contracts awarded to them and who failed or refused to execute the contracts.
The party said Okupe’s case should not be treated differently.
It said, “In the face of the obvious attempt by the Presidency, the Peoples’s Democratic Party and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to sweep this case under the carpet, the ACN sees the need to present once again unadorned, the facts of this case to the public, which are as follows:
“Value Trust, a company in which Dr. Okupe serves as chairman, received the sum ofN886.8m as mobilisation from the Benue State Government out of the contract sum of N2.3bn to construct 230 kilometres of rural road and failed to execute the contract.
“This non-performance of the contract after having collected the sum of N886.8m mobilisation fee is a clear cut situation where the provisions of the law relating to obtaining money under false pretences should be invoked and the EFCC must treat this incident in the same manner as it has been treating all other similar cases of obtaining money under false pretences.”
The party reminded the Presidency, Benue State Government, and the EFCC that in all cases where public funds were disbursed to individuals through any contrivance and the purpose for which such disbursement was made was not met, the EFCC had treated such cases as obtaining by false pretences.
“Many bank directors today are being tried for stealing borrowed funds that may not have been utilised appropriately,” it said.
The ACN added that the oil subsidy cases also merely involved persons who received “sums as subsidies without supplying the product.”
It said, “What is sause for the goose should be sause for the gander, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission must investigate the allegations against Dr. Doyin Okupe or they should stop the prosecution of all bank directors and those indicted in the oil subsidy scam.”