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HURIWA seeks prosecution of ‘indicted’ officials in alleged $19.6m COVID-19 deal

By Ernest Nzor, Abuja
13 July 2022   |   4:03 am
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, called for arrest and prosecution of government officials involved in an alleged $19.6 million COVID-19 deal.

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, called for arrest and prosecution of government officials involved in an alleged $19.6 million COVID-19 deal.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group challenged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) to go after the corrupt government officials exposed by an audit of the Global Fund.

The probe before the Federal Government had disclosed that “$19.6 million worth of COVID-19 procurements was awarded to contractors without financial statements.”

The report reads in part: “The audit noted non-adherence with eligibility requirements for 67 per cent ‘six out of nine’ of sampled procurements totalling $7.5 million, where vendors were awarded contracts without providing bank/performance guarantees, despite this being a pre-condition for contract awards.

“A joint venture was awarded two contracts worth $3.5 million without being legally registered, and without providing the bank/performance guarantees. In addition, eight of nine sampled vendors were awarded contracts amounting to $8.6 million despite not providing certified financial statements.”

Reacting, HURIWA said: “The silence of the anti-graft commission is worrisome. The EFCC and ICPC must explain to Nigerians why they are not doing their statutory duties to apprehend the government officials indicted by Global Fund.

“The EFCC and ICPC must effect immediate action on this scam to recover the stolen money within 48 hours or civil society organisations will be mobilised to take legitimate actions to either compel investigation, prosecution or name and shame the persons involved in the mismanagement of these humongous amount of public fund.”

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