Power Sector Probe: Lawyer refutes allegation of N1.034b against client
One of the companies under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged corruption and rot in the power sector, Chris-Ejik International Agencies Ltd, has refuted reports that it was paid over N1 billion for the project.
The company’s lawyer, Chijioke Onyeneke, the figure quoted in a national daily as the amount collected by the company cannot be corroborated by any contractual document anywhere.
Onyeneke expressed worries that the ongoing investigation has been exploited by a section of the media to churn out misleading information about certain corporate entities and individuals.
The recent publication titled, “Power Sector Probe: EFCC Quizzes 50, Traces N1. 5b bribe to NDPHC” reported that some companies contracted by the Niger Delta Power Holding Limited (NDPHL) to execute power projects allegedly collected staggering amount of money and abandoned the projects completely, half-done or did just a little above 30 per cent job and disappeared, while some of the projects were said to have unnecessarily dragged on for years and were being recycled.
The publication equally reported that Chris-Ejik handled Obudu new Sub-Station with 35 per cent of the job done after it was paid N1, 034, 292, 598. 52 and $4,945,087.16, respectively.
But Onyeneke Monday described the report as malicious and clear hatched job sponsored by individuals who were out to tarnish the national and international reputation of the company.
“For instance, it is totally false to say that Lekki-Ajah power project is an independent transmission line as the publication suggested. Lekki-Ajah project was part of the Lot 14 transmission line comprising New Abeokuta, Old Abeokuta, Ota and Papalanto.
“Lekki-Ajah was dropped out of Lot 14 project mainly because the federal government said it did not have the needed funds to finance the right of way on the contract.
“For the record, Chris-Ejik International Agencies Ltd successfully completed the Lot 14 project and it was duly commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on August 15.
“Another important point that was stressed was the fact that “Chris-Ejik built a 260 MVA Transmission Substation. Preceding this location are three other interconnected project locations – Otta, Papalanto and Old Abeokuta. Precisely the Project started from Otta Substation where we erected a 1×60 MVA Substation and a 4×33 KVA Feeders”, Onyeneke stated.
According to him, insensitive to allege that Chris-Ejik collected the above sum for Obudu power project when in actual sense, it collected a total sum of N373,844,684.47 in four instalments, out of the contract cost and delivered about 40 per cent job.
He noted that the work stopped due to the federal government’s inability to continue funding the project.