Source: The Guardian On-Line - http://ngrguardiannews.com
Friday, March 15, 2002.
APP condemns Bayelsa’s bid for new govt house
From David Owei,
IF the Bayelsa State government is sensitive to the people’s misery and frustration, it would not contemplate spending N2.6 billion to construct a new Government House, the All People’s Party (APP) in the state has said.
In a statement in Yenagoa, APP’s secretary, Mr. Ayebide Fatiede, observed that the decision to embark on this unnecessary venture at this point of near bankruptcy of the Governor Diepreye Alamiesegha administration is a celebration of the misery, which Bayelsans have been subjected for the past three years.
"It defies wisdom that a state that has no electricity, school or health facilities and in difficulty to meet recurrent expenditures. While some councils are owing over three months salary arrears could even contemplate such an expenditure," it said.
Fatiede said: "Even our deadened human shock absorbers from three years of serial fraud and wastage of this People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led government could not absorb this particular new world record of a government’s insensitivity to the people’s misery and frustration."
He condemned what he described as the conspiracy between the Bayelsa House of Assembly and the executive to pass this provision in the 2002 Appropriation Bill, adding that the House by this commission is liable for criminal prosecuting.
The party noted that through the yearly budgetary provisions, over N3 billion had been expended in the last three years for the renovation and expansion of the existing Government House which has made it one of the best in the country and wondered why the construction of another is being contemplated.
It demanded a stop to "this new insult on the intellect of Bayelsans."
"Govt cannot without recourse of basic rationality by fiat or legislative gross misconduct, steal public funds under the cloak of irresponsible public project and expect the people to remain quite," the party said.
The APP concluded that it would hold the legislature responsible for the PDP’s fraud on the people.
Bayelsans and Ijaws Abroad
Ijaw Pro-Leadership Forum
Bayelsa Unanswered Financial Questions
Fellow Ijaws & Citizens of the World,
In the course of Ijaw political life, when it becomes necessary for Ijaws in any state to demand financial accountability and transparency of the leadership which governs them,
We hold these IZONS to be self-evident that we are well
endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights which include
Life, Liberty, Freedom of Speech, and the Pursuit of Happiness and that
to secure these Rights, our government by laws and the power to enforce
are instituted among us. When our form of government or leadership
becomes corrupt and destructive, when a series of abuses and
ursurpations reduces our people to mere background participants, while
our elected officials are accused of fraudulent financial misdeed, when
they are accused of carting away and looting our treasury, it is our
Right, it is our Duty, to publicly demand that these officials answer
truthfully to the people whom they swore an oath to faithfully serve.
Fellow Ijaws and citizens of the world, it is time for the Governor,
Deputy Governor, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, the Commissioner
for Finance, the state Accountant General and other knowledgeable state
officials to provide answers to these serious allegations of financial
improprieties. We demand that they tell us who got what, when, how much
and for what purpose? We also demand that, all those whose names appear
below to take this opportunity to publish evidence refuting these
alleged fraud and clear their good names.
When elected officials are accused of embezzling =N= 1 Billion of scarce state fund in the guise of feasibility studies, we demand an answer.
When an elected official is accused of embezzling =N= 2 Billion on fraudulent contract to one Doyin Okupe, we reserve the right to demand accountable
When elected officials are accused of embezzling =N= 4 Billion on fraudulent contract to one Chief Itsei, it is time to hold them accountable; we demand answers.
When elected officials are accused of embezzling =N= 5 Billion on fraudulent contract to one Air Commodore Adeleye, we ask you to clear your name.
When elected officials are accused of embezzling =N= 6 Billion on fraudulent contract to Chaugury & Chaugury, we ask them to explain why.
When an elected official is accused of defrauding the State of =N= 3.5 Billion on fraudulent contract to one Col. Dauda Komo, we say clear up the mess and be accountable.
When elected officials advocate =N= 2.6 Billion governors mansion while the children have no books, chairs or desks, no food or medical care, we want answers.
When elected official spends =N= 100 Billion over four years and has little or nothing to show for that sum of money, we want an explanation.
We also demand that the governor and this administration explain to the people he swore to faithfully serve, how he can negotiate a convoluted =N= 2 Billion naira loan from Standard Trust Bank in June of 2001, with a =N= 175 Million a month payment for 15 consecutive months. Why it is not reckless, fraudulent and criminal to now guarantee the =N= 175 Million payment with a =N= 750 Million a month deduction from source until further notice.We ask that he point to the legislation that authorized this and how the money was expended. We believe that when elected officials are alleged to have colluded with a bank to deduct =N= 750 million on a monthly basis for 15 months on a supposed =N= 2 billion loan facility, the Governor, his deputy, the Speaker and the House leadership, the Commissioner for Finance, the Accountant Generals and the bank officials, must be held accountable for their deeds, they must refund the peoples money and they must pay for their misdeed or clear their good names. We also ask that if the STANDARD TRUST BANK (STB) has not colluded with officials to defraud BAYELSA STATE, and have not colluded in bringing SORROW TEARS & BLOOD (STB) to our children and families, we ask them to take this opportunity to clear their name publicly or face the wrath of the law and the citizens. We ask the following Standard Trust Bank official to publicly explain their role in this loan scheme: Ferdinand Alabraba, Chairman, Tony Elumelu, CEO, Isaac Yalah, Business Manager and Solomon Apreala, Group Head Public Sector, STB. Yenagoa. We want to assure you that we will not relent in our efforts to recover all illegal gains from this loan of death that was strung on Bayelsa and it’s people by corrupt elected leaders if this happens to be the case.
We say from this day forward, the Ijaw people will lead and our leaders will follow. It’s our money and we demand accountability. We say no to robber politicians and we refuse to continue to mortgage our children’s future. We demand and expect better from our leaders. If our corrupt leaders continue to keep the citizens in poverty by their actions, and will not give respite to corruption, intimidation and selfish personal aggrandizement, we say they all shall never see rest and we shall never let them know peace, as long as they continue in their ways. We did not elect Kings or Lords, and we reject any and all dictator leaders. We may not be able to prevent birds from flying over our heads, but we can prevent them from nesting there. We are so resolved to stop any such nesting by God’s special grace.
Ijaw Leadership Forum
Ijaw Pro-Active Leadership Forum
We , the people of the State of Bayelsa, and Ijawland, being grateful to Almighty God for our liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, seek sustainable social and economic development, true democracy, liberty, equality, justice and positive participation of all at all levels of the economy and society by all her citizens, exercising our rights to free speech and assemble, call urgently on the Bayelsa State House of Assembly to kill the =N= 15 Billion (Naira) Loan Development Bill before the House for these and other reasons:
1. Bayelsans and Ijaws have demanded that this administration explain how it disbursed approximately =N= 50 billion (naira) public revenue.
2. We call on members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly to use this occasion to underline their patriotism and unanimously reject this bill of enslavement. It is only then that posterity will exonerate them.
3. Allegations of corruption, embezzlement and wanton misuse of public funds are still unaswered.
4. This leadership does not and has not represented the interest of the people of Bayelsa State.
5. This administration has for 35 months squandered billions of Naira in the public coffers. Why is the administration suddenly seeking the development of Bayelsa in the last year of the four-year term. The administration must explain what they have done in the last three years to help improve the lot of the people whose confidence it has betrayed after swearing faithfully to represent the people of Bayelsa State.
6. We refuse to mortgage our future and that of posterity to unaccountable leaders.
* We therefore call on the BAYELSA STATE ASSEMBLY to kill this bill now in committee.
* We hereby notify all elected officials and financial institutions that are interested in this loan scheme that:
1. This bill of enslavement should not pass the House.
2. If in the event that this bill passes, no financial institution in their right mind should loan money to Bayelsa State knowing fully well that the State is in financial distress. (Cumulative debt approaching =N=45 Billion)
3. If in the event that any financial institution decides to loan money to Bayelsa State at this time,they do so at their own risk.(Both domestic and International
4. We resolve to hold our elected officials and financial institutions that do business with her to thorough accountability.
5. Financial institutions and elected officials that collude to defraud Bayelsa State, will be sought after, and prosecuted.
6. We shall purpose to recover as much as we can from these institutions and officials, including family members.
We beseech everyone involved to take a step back and rethink their positions. We refuse to oblige corrupt practices and we refuse to be silent about embezzlement in Bayelsa anymore. Our goal is for the redistribution of wealth, for the well-being of our aged, for the advancement of our youth, for the liberation of our people and for the protection of our children.
Enough is enough. Stop the insanity now.
For Concerned Bayelsa Citizens
For Concerned Ijaw People
1. Titoe Miriki, Miami, Florida. USA
2. Hermon Alamene, Dallas, Texas. USA
3. Timi Okoinyan, Miami, Florida. USA
4. Beena Layefa Youdeowei, Rockville, Maryland. USA
5. Akpodigha Filatei, Boston, Massachusetts. USA.
6. Paul Ebikibo Ekadi, Dallas, Texas. USA
7. Rowland Ekperi, London, England
8. Dr. Ebipamone N. Nanakumo , Boston, Massachusetts. USA
9. Oyinkepreeyi Oti, Lagos, Nigeria
10.Timi Odozi, Dallas, Texas. USA
11. Dr. Joseph Miebi. Ebiware, Adams, Massachusetts. USA
12. Helen Ogobri USA
13. Felix Tuodolo , London, England
14. Amagbe Kentebe, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. USA
15. Richard Konugah, USA
16. Boston Edogi , USA
17. Francis O. Akeni, USA .
18. Sunday Engi, USA.
19. Frank O. Ogeh, USA
20. Timiadi Edogi, USA
21.Oki Edu, San Leandro, California. USA
22. Patterson Ogon, Yenagoa, Bayelsa. Nigeria
23. Dr. Edwin Sawacha, London, England
24. Mr. Opubo G. Benebo , Wallington, New Jersey. USA
25. Dr. Peter Kagbala, St. Vincent, West Indies
26. Ebikaboere H. Kagbala, St. Vincent, West Indies
27. Tiefa K. Niweigha, San Jose, California, USA.
28. Fred Nyananyo, Atlanta, Georgia. USA
29. Priye Zuofa, Atlanta, Georgia. USA
30. Bea Kpou, Atlanta, Georgia. USA
31. Godfrey Okoro, San Jose, California. USA
Text Of a Press Conference by the People’s Power Project held on the 1st of May 2002, Lagos, Nigeria
Gentlemen of the Press,
This press conference has been convened to address a growing concern about the intensification of the swindle and disempowerment of the peoples of the Niger Delta by the central government and mostunfortunately by the political leadership of the Niger Delta, especially the governors.
The peoples of the Niger Delta have since pre-colonial times been the butt of unjust exploitation. But they have also been a courageous people. They have fought gallantly for their environment, political and social rights against the British and later against the parasitic and unrepresentative central governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In this battle, the forces of deprivation and oppression have been allied with powerful corporations, the Royal Niger Company in pre-colonial and colonial times and now the Royal Dutch Shell and other multinational companies which together with the Government of Nigeria constitute a rapacious coven of parasitic iniquity.
It has become clear to us that if the peoples of the Niger Delta are to make any further progress in the struggle for self-determination and resource control, one of the most immediate and challenging assignments which must be taken up is the effective monitoring of the activities of governments of the Niger Delta states, particularly in the use and management of our common resources.
This has become more urgent because of the corrupt and inept manner with which they have governed our common affairs within the past three years. At no time in the long history of our Niger Delta has so much money been available to be applied towards the development of the Niger Delta, yet we have witnessed an unfortunate neglect matched in intensity only by their vulgar opulence, displayed by members of state administrations in the Niger Delta and their relations and acolytes.
On the 23rd June 2001, social change activists in Bayelsa State convened by the first All Bayelsa Youth Summit. The summit was organized in the words of the conveners against the backdrop of, but not as a reaction to, the on-going crisis of confidence in government as an institution, and the perceived inability of government to meet the expectations of the people of Bayelsa State.’
The crisis of confidence referred to then was that which followed the grave allegations of corruption and abuse of power leveled against the Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha by the ousted speaker of the State House of Assembly.
The conveners of the summit observed that since the advent of the fourth republic and the struggle for resource control and self- determination, there has been an increased allocation of resources to Bayelsa State even though the increment falls desperately short of the expectations of the people of the State. The yearly budget of Bayelsa State before the democratic dispensation was never above 1.5 billion Naira. This average sum when contrasted with the current revenue profile of more than one and a half billion Naira on a monthly basis was indicative of more than a marginal shift to the positive. This gave cause to hope for a corresponding positive impact on the development of Bayelsa State.
By all appearances, this hope is misplaced as the social and economic condition of the people has continued to deteriorate. Unemployment has reached an all time high and disillusionment can be felt in the streets of Bayelsa and the other states of the delta. As if this is not bad enough, the elite, the traditional institution and political class, kowtowing to the power of incumbency has failed to stand by our people. The have continued to play the onlooker at a time when the neutral ground no longer exists.
Tragically, the onlookers even include people who aspire to govern the state. These people have, in general, so far not been able to distinguish themselves from the band of plunderers by standing for the people they claim to love and hope to govern.
In the event, the sensible thing to all concerned is to organize ourselves in such a manner that we the people would retake the initiative and reassert our primacy. We, the people must through an assertion of will bend government to grasp the idea that Power belongs to the people and that real people count.
This is possible because the people already exercise their powers every day at the community level with the direct access people have to the decision making process in our various communities through control of the Community Development Committees (CDCs) which work directly under the supervision of our people. Our local government councils and state governments are quite similar to our CDCs. There exists only a difference in scale. What we can achieve with our CDCs can equally be achieved with our state and local governments. What we need to do is to organize ourselves from our various communities to meet the challenge of reining in a government that has deviated. People have the capacity, where they are conscious of this capacity, to compel government to do the right thing. This can be achieved through several means, including: peaceful protests and general strike actions among others.
At the moment an issue has presented itself with which we can test the power of the people and see how potent it can be. The government of Bayelsa State has expressed an intention to go the capital market to borrow an estimated sum of 15 billion Naira in form of development bonds. A bill is currently before the Bayelsa State House of Assembly to empower the government to carry out this intention.
Given the level of opposition the bill generated by complementary
efforts by civil society, it is now apparent that the people of Bayelsa
State are poised to stop the loan. Reasons that have been advanced for
the opposition to the loan include but are not limited to:
1. The Government of Bayelsa State under the leadership of DSP Alamieyeseigha does not have a reliable record of prudent financial management.
2. The government has not been able to reasonably clear itself of allegations of gross abuse of pubic trust and glutinous corruption.
3. The Government of Bayelsa State already owes undisclosed sums of money to several commercial banks, the repayment of which has become a source of hardship to the State.
4. The government has not been able to show what it has done for the people with the huge amount of money that has come from the derivation fund.
5. Given the lame-duck status of the current administration, it will be unwise and perhaps suspicious for the Government to borrow that much money without full disclosure and adequate public input. This is particularly unacceptable against the backdrop of widespread belief that the loan is being planned as seed money for the governor’s second term bid.
There is hope that whether the people succeed in blocking this loan or not they would have been on the way to enthroning a culture of monitoring governance and making inputs to public policy.
The People’s Power Project is happy to work with the people of the Niger Delta, particularly in Bayelsa State to use appropriate tools to deal with the challenge of participatory governance. The Ijaw Youth Council (Central Zone), the Movement for the Survival of the Ethnic Nationality in the Delta, the Chikoko Movement, the Bayelsa Youth Summit amongst others are all allies with this initiative, and we are happy to have them here today side by side with us.
We will continue to work with the peoples of the Niger Delta to connect the electoral process with development, human rights, democracy and the lack of these.
This means that the peoples of the Niger Delta should work towards free and fair elections and ensure that people or parties without clear commitments to the Niger Delta are not allowed to rig their way into office. This aspect of the battle for resource control and self-determination is very important and will be a test of our seriousness and commitment as a people to our struggle for self-determination and resource control. People who have killed and destroyed with impunity in the Niger Delta, and have instigated court processes with a view to further impoverishing the people of the Niger Delta must not beallowed to gain votes in the Niger Delta, their party affiliations notwithstanding.
We are back from the Supreme Court with a so-called landmark judgment, which is so capacious in volume and deep in wisdom that our political leaders, our Governors, Houses of Assembly and National Assembly members require a second term to understand and perhaps a third term to be able to articulate a response. Their Excellencies are yet to react, perhaps waiting till the Federal Government begins to decide where our fishermen should fish and where they should not.
But there is no reason to despair.
There is every reason, however, to seize back the initiative from the monochrome, unimaginative and weak-willed politicians and redirect the struggle for resource control and self-determination as a people centered initiative full of drive, passion and will.
This will by no means be an easy task. It will be demanding and require courage and imagination. We should always be steeled by the firm belief that no amount of force can hold down a free spirit.
We must rebuild our various peoples’ organizations and where the level of infiltration and adulteration is beyond safe levels we must recreate. We should, we would come out harder, bolder, firmer, stronger and more spirited. We should re-launch the struggle for self- determination and resource control. That is the lesson we must draw from the Supreme Court decision. We must return to the creeks where the struggle belongs.
DIMIEARI VON KEMEDI
Tuesday, 12 June 2001
THE CRISIS OF GOVERNANCE IN BAYELSA
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) condemns the legislative and executive arms of the Bayelsa state government for their actions and activities, which have resulted in a crisis of governance in Bayelsa State. In its national parliamentary session in Adagbabiri, Bayelsa State on Sunday, June 10, 2001, the IYC concluded that the current crisis in the Bayelsa State House of Assembly over impeachment and counter impeachment, and the resultant thuggery and insecurity in the State capital is an expression of the greed, visionlessness and irresponsibility of the Assembly and the executive arm of the Bayelsa State government. The IYC noted that:
1. The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has failed woefully in not pushing and passing legislation to support the quest and aspiration of the people for resource control, self- determination and environmental justice.
2. The Assembly members and the executive arm of the Bayelsa State government have been busy in a project of self-enrichment and self-aggrandisement to the detriment of the mass of the peoples of Bayelsa State. They have done nothing worthwhile to promote a better life for the impoverished and long suffering peoples of Bayelsa State.
3. The Assembly and the executive arm of the Bayelsa State government are holding the people of Bayelsa State to ransom as they war over their individual interests and projects.
The IYC is calling on the Legislature and executive arm to respect the Bayelsa people by maintaining peace and ensuring justice for the mass of the Bayelsa People. In this regard, the IYC will be holding a rally/protest march in Yenagoa to compel all involved in the crisis to give account of their stewardship and clear the air on the allegations and counter allegations of fraud and gross mismanagement of public funds.
THE MILITARISATION OF BAYELSA STATE
The IYC condemns the worsening militarisation of Bayelsa State and blames the Bayelsa State government for working to protect the interest of oil companies and its friends against the mass of the people. This is demonstrated by the support of the government in the deployment of troops to Nembe, Brass, Yenagoa, Peremabiri etc. The IYC demands for a complete demilitarisation and restoration of community rights and protection of human dignity in Bayelsa State.
THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT AND THE SABOTAGE OF THE PEOPLES’ WILL
The IYC condemns the partnership between the Government of Rivers State and the Obasanjo administration to stifle and sabotage the demand of the peoples of Rivers State and the other minority nationalities of the Niger Delta area for resource control and self- determination. The IYC notes that by consciously supporting the inadequate constitutional review and the farce of zonal consultation the Rivers State government is consciously sabotaging the will of the people for self determination and the call of our peoples for a Sovereign National Conference.
The IYC condemns the arrest, torture and trial of some people of Ijaw ethnic nationality and the subsequent charges of attempting to disrupt the fraudulent meeting called to review the 1999 Constitution in Port Harcourt, Rivers Sate. The IYC maintains that the citizens were arrested on the orders of the Government of Rivers State for maintaining on the floor of the flawed meeting that what the people want is a Sovereign National Conference to discuss the basis for the unity of Nigeria, justice for all groups and nationalities and a peoples constitution to ensure representative, responsible and responsive governance.
The IYC calls on the Rivers State government to drop the fake charges against its justice seeking citizens, Prince Namapele, Dudley Afiesimama, Gbarasi Brown, Primrose Oringuriya and Tamunotonye Tobi.
Bayelsa: Unaswered Questions
About a month ago, the Bayelsa House of Assembly was bombed, after its speaker had been impeached. Since then, several papers have been flying around. They call to question the very root of the matter. Eddy Odivwri reports
There was a throw back to the Abacha days when bombs were exploding as regularly as balloons at Yuletide. That was in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital. A bomb blast had exploded in the premises of the state House of Assembly resulting in the destruction of the Accounts section of the building and also rocked some nearby houses. It sounded bizzare. But it was real.
The bomb blast came after the Speaker of the House had been impeached. And that is after the Governor, Chief Diepreye Alamiesagha had allegedly been served the notice of impeachment for gross financial mismanagement. But that impeachment notice angle to the story was to become clearer a few days later when the new leadership of the House issued a statement denying that the House ever discussed any such notice or even served it on the man they jocularly call "Governor-general". Indeed, the House of Assembly had compiled a very long list of some mind-bogging expenses said to have been incured by the executive arm of government in the name, of feasibility studies for all kinds of projects under the sun.
But again, no sooner had the mediabegun to celebrate the Alamieyeseigha "misdeeds" that the house again rose to clear its name. According to the communique from the House, under its new leadership, the House never compiled any such list. The new Speaker who spoke to journalists in Yenagoa alluded that the said list of misdeeds was a figment of the imagination of the former Speaker, Heineken October Lokpobiri. It was his own way of getting back at the governor who he believed had instigated and funded his removal as Speaker as well as his eventual expulsion from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party(PDP). But, even at that, the executive arm also had a case against the legislature - under the Lokpobiri leadeship, that is. It was a case of fraudulent tendency.
Some three persons: Malam Sasime, Jonathan Kubor both traditional rulers, and a lawyer, Dan Kemgbe had gone to court to stop the release of funds to the Bayelsa House of Assembly. Part of the affidavit they swore to averred that "between 1999 and now, the 2nd and 3rd defendant have received over N2billion of allocation for capital expenditure." Before then, the House had passed its "Self Accounting Law", which is interpreted to mean that the house will account only to itself. That way, it was argued by the executive, the house will be under no cheque beside itself. Such a lattitude afforded the legislators the opportunity of building its own Administrativ block. Perhaps the worry is not just that the house executed their own projects, but the concern is the price margin always declared for such jobs.
For instance, it caused some concern that the legislators decided to build for themselves some recreation facilities at the cost of N99.2 million. It was also said they spent N26 million in the "finishing" of Boys’ quarters. The legislators also awarded themselves some N26.2 million as bonus and constituency allowance, per member . Details of the said acts of the assembly were given wide circulation as a way of invoking public hatred at the legislators. This act was said to have infuriated the legislators (especially those loyal to Lokpobiri) who on their part, dusted the governor’s financial dossier in their posession and set the engine of discord buzzing.
The politics of how Lokpobiri had moved against Alamieyeseigha and failed and how the governor’s alleged counter-attack had booted the young Speaker out of his coveted seat has since become history. But time has not wiped off the case against the governor, the enormity of the allegations, as well as the large figures involved.
Of course it had unsettled even the governor enough for him to set up a panel to look into the authenticity of the vouchers, receipts and cheques - some of which have already been published in the press. His plan was to address a press conference on the issue as soon as the report of the panel was turned in. But many still insist that Alamiesegha has a case to answer.
For instance, they say a total of eleven feasibility contracts involving huge amounts were awarded to some companies traceable to a particular source. The papers showed that in five months (August to December last year), Alamiesegha awarded contracts worth =N=1.258 billion for just feasibility studies.
In all, the companies to which the contracts were awarded have a similarity of having the same kind of computer- prepared letter-headed papers. More than that, all of them, except two, have foreign addresses. But more curious is the fact that all the cheques for the various contracts were collected by the same person- Kenem Roberts. That alone means that all the projects were handled or done by the same person or groups of persons.
And that is one of those things Alamieyeseigha has asked the panel to authenticate.
On July 20, 2000, the governor approved the sum of N68million paid through Standard Trust Bank for "a Feasibility Report on the Ultra Modern Radio Communication Network". The approving voucher had a top executive’s comment "OT, Please process" The job was given to Vinny Investment Limited with a Washington address.
Eight days later,, July 28, another N65 million was approved by the governor to Multiweb Ltd again with Cambridge Health Road, in London for the purpose of presenting "a study report on the Establishment of Bayelsa Refinery". Again the approving authority commented: "please deal under G.H (Government House) misc. vote."
Alamieyeseigha would not be dragged into the discussion but his aides agree that many of the said contracts were actually given, however, they say the rates are far lower than what the circulating papers claim.
Three transactions were done with the cartel in the month of September, where-in Multi Web Ltd with a U.K address was awarded N80 million contact to submit "proposal for the Establishment of a multi-purpose Oil Mill (Soya beans,Ground-nut and Palm Kernel) for Bayelsa State Government.
The comment on the payment voucher underscored the urgency of the business as it instructed the officer-in-charge to "raise P.V (Payment Voucher) today. The governor approved on September 5.
Five days later, the sum of N72 million was approved to Lee Ventures with US and Lagos addresses to prepare feasibility report on the automation and computerisation of all government departments in Bayelsa State.
Another N95 million was again approved on September 20 to Tee Network to submit five sets of feasibility reports and drawings for a sea port. The payment voucher carried a comment "please process immediately."
The following month, October the government did business with the cartel just once. It was on October 10, when the sum of N75million was awarded for a _feasibility study on Municipal solid waste Incinerating plant in Yenegoa." The money was paid through All state_s bank cheque.
As in many of the cases in the scandal, it is curious that the feasibility work on the said projects are so expensively priced causing many to ask that if a feasibility study will cost as much as N75 million, how much is the Incinerating plant itself?
That question may need to be answered by Britts Investment Ltd which undertook the said study .The company had actually quoted N114.2 million for the said job. It claimed that it has an office in the United States of America.
Two business deals also marked the relationship between the cartel and the governemt in the month of November. The sum of N90 million was first approved to the same Britts Investment Ltd for the purpose of submitting two copies of yet another feasibility report on Yenegoa air strip. The payment documents bore an approval date of a Saturday meaning that the deal was closed on a week-end. And for effect, it had the comment "Please raise P.V today, Saturday 18/11/2000." Six days later, November 14, one Jowiz Nigeria Ltd was again commissioned to prepare ten sets of technical drawings, five sets of architectural drawings, and six complete sets of Feasibiulity report, at the cost of N100 million. With a "please process immedaitely "instruction, the documents sped through the usually bureucratic system in a matter of days culminating in Kanem Roberts picking up the Standard Trust bank cheque no 644194 for the said sum, less the normal deductions and charges.
In the closing month of December, three deals were closed. The first being on December 7 where-in the sum of N350 million was approved for the "general mobilisation of B&B Construction (Equipment and Personnel)" Not more was stated. The accompanying instruction is "please procees on behalf of S.P as H.E wants this sure for them to collect the cheque on Monday 11/12."
By December 17, five days after the last award, ADM Investment Ltd with an office address in Brazil and Nigeria, collected the sum of N145 milliion to prepare and submit ten volumes of the feasibility report comprising two sections; ten volumes of technical analysisand ten volumes of cash flow analysis and income flow to the government" The sum was paid through All state’s Trust Bank cheque.
Another N145 million was released on the 17th of December 2000, to B-Union Partners to prepare and submit six volumes of Binded (sic) set of feasibility report on the establishment of a cement factory in Yenegoa. It also submitted "a detailed technical drawings of eleven copies each of the proposed factor." The payment which was made through Standard Trust Bank was also collected by the Kanem Roberts.
A breakdown of the transactions shows that for the five months, a total of eleven feasibility jobs were commissioned at a total cost of N1,285 billion with the month of December netting the highest sum of N640 million.
But then the suspicion in all these is that the documents are believed to be coming from Lokpobiri who could be out to get back at his enemy - real or perceived - Alamieyeseigha.
That is why everyone is waiting for the outcome of the panel. However, some questions still stick out: Eleven feasibility projects are traceable to the ubiquitous Kanem Roberts; so who is Kanem Roberts? Is he real? or is he fronting for certain persons? Or better still, is he so efficient as to be the only one whose nine companies will win eleven big jobs in just five months? Questions and questions. An answer is imperative.
|IJAW||We Dare To Be Different.|